16 Benefits All Leaders Get from Reading and Studying Books Part 2

Posted on August 3, 2020 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters

Last week I shared on the topic of reading. The late Ruth Graham was a voracious reader. She shared once that she had multiple books that she was reading, and if you went into the different rooms in her house, including the bathroom, you would find books she was reading.


Christian leader, Brian Dodd recently wrote about former Secretary Jim Mattis’ new book, Call Sign Chaos: Learning to Lead. Utilizing quotes from his book, Dodd shares the following 16 Benefits All Leaders Get From Reading (Studying) Books. Here is the rest of the list:


  1. Not Reading Books Is Unethical – “We have been fighting on this planet for ten thousand years; it would be idiotic and unethical to not take advantage of such accumulated experiences.”


  1. Not Reading Books Makes You Functionally Illiterate And Incompetent – “If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you.”


  1. Not Reading Books Has Permanent Consequences For Those You Lead – “Any commander who claims he is ‘too busy to read’ is going to fill body bags with his troops as he learns the hard way.  The consequences of incompetence in battle are final.”

As a leader, there are so many resources at your disposal from articles on the internet, to email lists from great leaders, to podcasts. We are without excuse.


  1. Books Make You A Better Leader – “The Commandment of the Marine Corps maintains a list of required reading for every rank… At no rank is a Marine excused from studying.”

If you email me, I will send you my top ten leadership books I have read.


  1. Books Solve Problems – “During planning and before going into battle, I could cite specific examples of how others had solved similar challenges.  This provided my lads with a mental model as we adapted to our specific mission.”


  1. Books Enhance Your Grasp On The Present – “Reading sheds light on the dark path ahead.  By traveling into the past, I enhance my grasp on the present.”


  1. Books Strengthen Your Weaknesses – “I read broadly and selected a few battles and areas where I was weak to study deeply.”


Don’t just read books to help you where you are already strong. Learn about your weaknesses and how to turn them into strengths.


  1. Reading Books Teaches You A Better Way To Do Business – “The problem with being too busy to read is that you learn by experience (or by your men’s experience), i.e. the hard way.  By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business, especially in our line of work where the consequences of incompetence are so final for young men.
  2. Reading Books Can Keep You From Being Unprepared – “Thanks to my reading, I have never been caught flat-footed by any situation, never at a loss for how any problem has been addressed (successfully or unsuccessfully) before.”


  1. Books Give You A Real Understanding Of History – “Ultimately, a real understanding of history means that we face NOTHING new under the sun.”


  1. Not Reading Books Is A Disservice To Those You Lead – “Our leaders going into this fight do their troops a disservice by not studying (studying, vice just reading) the men who have gone before us.”


  1. Books Are Full Of New Ideas – “If we needed ‘new ideas’ to help us construct our plan, old books were full of them.”


I know this was a little long, but I trust helpful. I said last week this is not a spiritual post, but hopefully, it will help you take the step to become a better reader, and ultimately a better leader.


Set apart for more,


Bill Welte, President/CEO
America’s Keswick


Written by Bill Welte, President/CEO of America’s Keswick: Bill has been married to his childhood sweetheart for 40+ years and has four married kids and 12 amazing grandkids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

Think About This: “Here’s what you need to keep in mind. You no longer have yesterday. You do not yet have tomorrow. You have only today. This is the day the Lord has made. Live in it.” – Max Lucado

The Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 21-24| You can download our 2020 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. -1 Peter 2:9-10

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.

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Consider a retreat at America’s Keswick retreat center.


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