An annual event organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Book Day, also known as World Book and Copyright Day, or International Day of the Book, is celebrated on 23rd April to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.
Books are one of the most powerful things in the world, as reading is a great way to discover new things, to open one’s mind to imagination and a whole new world, a world of knowledge, information and possibilities. The right book can hold the power to educate and empower and easily becomes a pathway to success.
Therefore, it’s not surprising at all that reading is one of the daily habits of the world’s most successful people. Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of the United States of America, once said: “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers”. Bill Gates once pointed out that he reads 50 books every year, which comes down to 1 book per week. As he explained, “reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding”. In 2015, Mark Zuckerberg started a book club and made a resolution to read a book every 2 weeks. These are just a few examples of the importance of reading in some of the most ultra-successful people in the world. Besides their successful businesses and careers, they’re also avid readers, although they’re rather selective about what they read. They prefer to be educated rather than entertained.
Although leadership may come naturally to some, to others, on the other hand, can be a struggle and may take some extra time. Reading voraciously about management and leadership is a great way to help spark our inner leader. We had a little chat with Grzegorz Wisniewski, Country Manager at SISQUAL® Poland, an avid reader himself, to talk about his favorite books on management and leadership. We wanted to find out what are the ones that, for him, qualify for must-reads for managers.
Tell us about your reading habits!
I feel like every book I took in my hands in my life as an adult was for a reason. 95% of books fall into the category “Self- development” as I am crazy to get better in every discipline which concerns my life. It started when I became extremely young manager of a team of 100 people and wanted to fill in the shoes and prove that being young doesn’t mean bad. I started and never ended… Even reading all books from the Harry Potter series I treated it as a self-development exercise since I decided to do it in English to increase my vocabulary and language knowledge.
For multiple years of my life, I have been traveling a lot and the trip on the board of the plane was always accompanied by a book or later by a kindle reader. Recently I must admit I “cheated on books” with audiobooks with ever-growing library on my Audible app but I have another reason for that. Will Smith once said “The keys to life are running and reading”
I have to agree and – as a 6 times marathon finisher including classic marathon In Athens – I treat it as a valid excuse for switching to more digital and less attention capturing activity allowing to focus on both: book content while somebody reads It for me by and running track during my long, lasting few hours trainings.
Do you feel like the educational books you read have a direct impact in your work?
Oh yeeaah! I am where I am because I have read and learned what I did. My personality was forged by the lessons learned and the time spent on contemplating them. Books allow me to meet some role models I have no chance to meet any more like Abraham Licoln or Bill McDermott. I read about their life and the path they have taken not to follow the same, but to take educated decisions on my own road to success – whatever the word success means for you personally. I still allow the books to impact me – currently listening to the audiobook written by Simon Sinek “Find Your Why” a continuation of the Idea revealed in “Start with Why”
Can you present some of your recommendations every manager should read?
I’ve collected 5 books that surely help you hone your skills and enhance your personal development and probably may have never been on your radar but for sure will widen your perspectives from many different angles.
1. The One Minute Manager – series by Kenneth H. Blanchard & Spencer Johnson
2. Leading Change by Dr. John Kotter
3. Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
4. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Dan Heath
5. First break all the rules. What the world’s greatest managers do differently book authored by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman
Take your personal development into your own hands to take your team to the next level. And remember, if you need an extra help regarding productivity, SISQUAL is here to help! Don’t hesitate to contact our experts and schedule a demonstration.