A middle-aged man approached me after a function and told me he is experiencing numerous problems in his business.

After listening to him for few minutes, I offered to give me a list of three books that would help him a great deal as he works on a turnaround strategy.

To my surprise, he told me that he is not a books person and has never read a single book since he left college eight years ago.

One of the key habits that is rarely given the seriousness it deserves is reading.

Most of us in business are so remotely removed from books that it gives credence to the saying that if you want to hide something from an African hide it in a book.

Yet, there is a very strong relationship between reading and success, especially in business.

It is not just a coincident that all great investors and business guru ranging from Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs to Bill Gates are readers.

Former US President Harry S. Truman said: “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

It is almost impossible to be successful in any field if you are not a consumer of knowledge found in books. People who don’t read are operating far below their potential.

Through books, we are able to accumulate huge volumes of invaluable knowledge, skills, and experiences from all great leaders all over the world without leaving our comfort.

When you read good books written by the best authors and leaders, you are able to pick their mind and knowledge easily and quite affordably.

The 18th-century American preacher William Ellery Channing wrote: “It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds. In the best books, great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours.”

You may not have the privilege of meeting great leaders like Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castrol, Barack Obama, Yoweri Museveni, Steve Jobs and others living or dead.

However, through books written by them or about them you can dig deep into their finest thoughts and benefit from their immense knowledge and experiences, which to say the least can be transformative if applied in your life or business.

Reading inspires and provides insights that give us the impetus to prevail even in tough situations. Nothing is more reassuring than reading about a person who has faced more challenges than you and emerged successful.

When we read biographies of people who have risen from ashes to riches or built great empires from a scratch, we appreciate the richness of our current situations, regardless of how bad they seem.

Books boost creativity and problem-solving skills. Both fiction and non-fiction arouses creativity within the reader and broaden their view of the world and society.

It is only through books that we can travel across the globe and commune with great minds without literally leaving our study room.

This article was first published in the Business Daily on July 3, 2017.

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