I can remember two instances in the past year where peers have shared the ‘exciting’ news of how their organization was doing a book club for leadership development, and internally I was thinking it was a dumb idea. My belief was if studying a book together was leadership development then you were in trouble. I am not sure where that idea started, but it was there.
I was wrong.
More recently I interacted with several small companies and heard stories of how transformational the experience was for leaders hungry for learning and support. I was reminded how people getting in a room voluntarily because of their desire to grow is ALWAYS a good thing.
Here are 3 ideas to make sure your book club has the desired impact.
- Get CEO/Senior Leader involved: Half the benefit (or more) is having different levels of the organization involved and getting to know each other.
- Rotate leadership: Ask others to lead the discussion and coach/mentor where needed to help them prepare and reflect after it is done.
- Focus on self-observation and action: Have people apply ideas by first watching how the they/the organization/others do certain things today. Share the observations, then focus on one or two things to go apply after the book is done. A good move is to brainstorm “How can we apply this?” and have people vote for a couple favorite ideas. CEO – leave the voting to the team.
Any other ideas? I would love to hear/share them.
Here is a link to my top shelf of books that, if my office caught on fire, I would grab and let the others burn. (fyi – this is my tribute to Fahrenheit 451 author Ray Bradbury – who died this week at 91.)