Ebooks and Audiobooks: The Value of On-The-Go Reading for Leaders


Man in a blue shirt in front of a laptop. He is pointing at the screen.

CEOs work on borrowed time, making allocating hours for continuous learning difficult. In a study of 60,000 working hours of 27 CEOS, Harvard researchers found that they work for 62 hours a week on average. That said, no leader is born with all the knowledge needed to be better at what they do. According to FinDec CEO Michael Lee, the finest leaders constantly pursue development and absorb new ideas despite their hectic schedules — which is why the most successful leaders are avid readers. And because of their digital nature, ebooks and audiobooks make the perfect companion for perpetually busy leaders wherever they go. Here are a few ways they encourage leaders’ growth:

Access wisdom from other leaders

Warren Buffett once said that the best thing you can do for yourself is read 500 pages a day, while Bill Gates is reported to read fifty books a year. Despite the benefits of reading demonstrated by these successful people, leaders don’t always have the luxury of carrying stacks of books from their reading lists wherever they go. That said, Everand’s ebook and audiobook subscription features titles from influential leaders that can be accessed across mobile devices. This includes revered classics like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and CEO-penned titles like Pour Your Heart Into It by former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz and Shoe Dog by Nike founder Phil Knight. With such platforms, managers have a quick repository to access key insights from thought leaders with real-world experience—without carrying hefty volumes while on the go. Leaders may find more tailored advice by turning to titles written by leaders in a similar industry, which may lead to more actionable recommendations.

Develop retention skills

In today’s fast-paced world, leaders are bombarded with information and are expected to make lightning-fast decisions considering different factors. Oracle’s recent survey of business leaders found that 85% of them suffer from “decision distress.” Thus, the ability to retain and apply knowledge quickly is incredibly important. Because they can be conveniently revisited on mobile devices, ebooks and audiobooks enhance the likelihood of knowledge retention, especially when leaders take the time to highlight, write markups, and create bookmarks on these digital books. This trains leaders to reinforce their understanding of complex concepts while upskilling. It also ensures that one picks up on concepts or metaphors they may have missed during the first reading. Once a concept is sufficiently understood through re-reading, leaders can move on to application, identifying relevant strategies and techniques that align with their personal leadership style and organizational context.

Learn to resolve conflicts

Workplace conflict doesn’t just create an unhealthy working environment; it’s also reported to cost US companies $359 billion per year. It’s in companies’ best interest to resolve such issues, making it essential for leaders to explore evidence-based conflict management strategies. Ebooks and audiobooks allow management executives to explore communication methods, emotional intelligence principles, or negotiation and mediation techniques. It is also particularly relevant when the leader themself is embroiled in the conflict. In our “6 Ways To Self-Reflect And Boost Your Leadership” post, we have discussed the importance of changing oneself before flaws are widely recognized and become a source of contention. Unlike physical books, which may not always carry the most updated information, newer versions of ebooks and audiobooks are easier to access. Leaders can then keep abreast of the latest and best practices in conflict resolution.

As leaders work to manage their whirlwind schedules, ebooks and audiobooks can be invaluable tools for continuous learning, skills refinement, conflict resolution, and much more. As a result, they can navigate their roles not just with natural instinct but also through proven methods.

This is a contributed post to JMLalonde.com. For more information on contributing a post, please see our contributing policies.
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