Summer is a time for reflection and renewal. Mindfulness and being present matters. The JOMO, or “joy of missing out”, is a way to disengage and reconnect with self. Reading is undoubtedly part of engaging a piece of you that usually gets tuned out, as studies have shown that reading lowers stress levels and helps with concentration. We wanted to pause here and check in with you to check in on those readers out there that are engaging in our #ABookAMonth #MilitaryMentors reading challenge for 2018 now that half the year is done.

Earlier this year we started our second iteration of our #ABookAMonth reading club after finding much success in connecting readers to other readers last year. Standing by the notion that leaders are readers, we’ve always encouraged reading as a part of any personal and professional development program.

This year I’ve kept up with my personal goals for reading. How have you been doing? I can’t do podcast or audiobooks, so I’m usually a little less voracious of a reader than most since I have to have the physical book handy. There’s something about dog earing corners, scratching notes and the feel of the paper that makes the experience more real for me personally, which aids in my retention of the material. Here’s what I’ve had the pleasure of taking in this year:

  1. “Ego is the Enemy” – Ryan Holiday
  2. “Magic of Impromptu Speaking” – Andrii Sedniev
  3. “Radical Inclusion” – Martin Dempsey & Ori Brafman
  4. “Make Your Bed” – William McRaven
  5. “How Successful People Lead” – John Maxwell
  6. “Leadership in Balance” – Mike Lerario
  7. “The Speed of Trust” – Stephen Covey
  8. “The Obstacle is the Way” – Ryan Holiday
  9. “How to Get Ideas” – Jack Foster
  10. “Fighting the War of Ideas Like A Real War” – J. Michael Waller
  11. “Lone Survivor” – Marcus Luttrell
  12. “Radical Candor” – Kim Allen
  13. “Juggling Elephants” – Jones Loflin & Todd Musig
  14. “Homo Deus” – Yuval Harari

 

“Radical Inclusion” was sent to me with a signed note from the authors as a gift after connecting with both authors along my Army career. “Make Your Bed” started as a speech the author once gave; I worked for him some years ago and have always enjoyed his perspective. “Leadership in Balance” is authored by a fellow instructor of mine from US Army Special Operations Command’s (USASOC) Young Lions mentorship program. “How Successful People Lead” was a Valentine’s Day gift from my daughter, “How To Get Ideas” was a suggestion from my brother during his MBA/MPA program, “Homo Deus” was a going away gift and “Radical Candor” was passed along as from one of my assistants in the S3 shop this past year. I’ve been able to present my reflections on “Juggling Elephants” as a guest speaker at the USASOC Equal Employment Office’s “Professional Book Reading Club” as well. I show all this to say that there are many ways to get reading suggestions, acquire books, see what people are reading and hear about other’s thoughts on what they’ve read. Remember, the more you broaden your scope around the subject of and not just the act of reading, the more opportunity you will have to be successful with building and maintaining the habit.

We are not the only team touting the benefits of reading. Check out at 3×5 Leadership – he’s always got a good post with a leadership lesson and shows what he’s currently reading. In fact, he has a recent popular post that outlines what he has read during the first half of 2018 that you should check out, as well as his series on reading. Finally, he has a “bookshelf” that has recommended readings, blogs on reading, and book reviews. New York Times best selling author Ryan Holiday will send you a very detailed email monthly of what he’s reading, what suggestions he’s been given to read, and other literary things he’s come across if you simply send a note to him at [email protected] and put ‘Reading List’ in the subject line. I’ve been a part of his email newsletter all year this year and I think it’s absolutely great. Pretty inspiring stuff!

We will continue to encourage you to read whatever you want whenever you can, as well as share and post whatever you find interesting. A quick reminder that we want to reward the people who keep up with the #ABookAMonth challenge at the end of the year with gift cards, #MilitaryMentors clothing, and other items just like we did in 2017 – but you have to use the hashtags for us to keep track.

Follow the hashtags #MilitaryMentors and #ABookAMonth on Facebook and LinkedIn to see what we’re posting about and what we all are reading. Let’s continue this learning community for the remainder of 2018 and keep up the belief that leaders are readers.


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