Read to lead 📚 

A leader recruits leaders.

Asif Durrani

A leader recruits leaders. A leader considers the induction of a new team member as a meaning of succession planning. A true leader hires new talent without any prejudice of race, ethnicity, or old affinity. A leader builds an organization as a sustainable breeding ground for future leaders.

A manager who is insecure and suffering from imposter syndrome will never onboard a person who might take his/her role in the future. The manager who curtails the talent because of the fear of being replaced is the one who should not be in charge of a leadership position. The true essence of leadership is to groom more leaders within the team and encourage the display of leadership traits. Leadership is situational and a social trait; it does not comes with the authority. A position or title will note make someone a leader. A true leader will always look for someone who can replace his/her position in the next few years; they hire talent as a means of succession planning. The actual challenge is: How a leader can discover leadership traits in new talent?

The answer is simple with one basic question before you go into the discovery of management skills, personality test, or industry-specific questions during the interview. A leader should ask this simple question during an interview: What are you reading these days?

This one question will tell a lot about the leadership trait in that person; if the person replied within 2 seconds then you may check the box for leadership trait confidently. And if the person takes a while and then replies with some fluffy response then it’s a sign to conclude the interview as quickly as possible for the respect of each other time. Even if the interviewee responds “reading nothing” within a fraction of a second it is an acceptable response. Because the leadership traits are built on the value of honesty.

Reading plays a significant role in the development of leadership skills. Going to the gym is to your body; the reading is to your mind. A leader who reads both fiction and nonfiction will be able to comprehend quickly; will be able to develop quick reflexes to prepare business proposals. In a digital age, every employee gets information from variable sources through email, news feeds, media monitoring, and industry reports. A person who is slow in reading and lacks comprehension will not be able to synchronize thoughts with the rest of the team members.

Reading will help you to increase your comprehension and broaden your understanding of the industry. If you have people in your team who read and comprehend at the same speed as you then you are fortunate. This single quality will help everyone in the team to reach a faster decision and be more agile in responding to the clients.

In summary: A leader who doesn’t read cannot think. A leader who doesn’t write cannot delegate. A leader who doesn’t listen is doomed to disappear. And a leader who doesn’t encourage reading will never be able to have a successor.

Asif Durrani

16 April 2022