by Billy J. Grogan, Top Cop Leadership
President Harry S. Truman said, “Not every reader is a leader, but every leader is a reader.” In my experience, this statement has a lot of validity. I’m not suggesting if you are not a reader, you can’t be a leader. Instead, I believe you have a better chance of success as a leader if you read.
I am fortunate, because I developed a love for reading early in life. In high school, I took a class titled The Great American Novel. I spent the entire class reading. I was in heaven!
As a young leader, Chief Bobby Moody instilled the importance of reading for leadership development in me by having all supervisors read articles and books and provide monthly verbal reports at staff meetings.
Depending on your specific job, the daily news can inform you and help you do your job better. It can be a great source of information about current events that might affect you or your organization.
The good news is you can consume this news in printed form and online. I usually look at several different sources each day.
Because I am a police chief, I religiously read “Police Chief” magazine, which is published monthly by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. I also gather information, assess challenges and view best practices from across the country on several industry websites.
Every industry has its own publications and websites.
As I mentioned previously, I am an avid reader. I likely will read 50 books this year. I read for enjoyment, but I also read so I can become a better leader. Books can provide the fuel you need to reach the next level of leadership. I joined Goodreads, which is the world’s largest site for readers.
As Mark Twain said, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” Start reading today and you will likely benefit from the knowledge you gain far into the future.
Billy J. Grogan is the Chief of Police of the Dunwoody Police Department and a 36-year law enforcement leader, who currently writes articles for http://www.topcopleadership.com, a go-to resource for aspiring police chiefs and current police chiefs alike. He also currently serves on the Human and Civil Rights Committee of the IACP and is the Immediate Past President of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.