Want to earn more, then read more – 230% more

Man readingLast night, I was reading a book by David Cottrell called Tuesday Morning Coaching, and I ran across a statement that surprised me. I thought it was important enough to share with you.  “According to the U.S. Labor Department, business people who read at least seven business books per year earn over 230 percent more than people who read just one book per year.

This makes a lot of sense to me. People who want to be and stay successful are constantly learning. Reading is a great way to tap into new ideas regardless of your discipline.

While I was poking around the Internet, I was surprised to find that 25% of Americans have not read a book in the past year. A number of other sources are highlighting that CEOs are reading 4-6 books… per month.  While have not confirmed these numbers, I did read some time back that Bill Gates would collect books, and twice a year would take a two-week vacation simply to read and make notes.  This speaks volumes to the power and necessity of reading for professional development.

In a recent survey with some of my colleagues, they reported that they read regularly in order to stay abreast of changes in their specialty and to be better educators (Skrabut, 2011). However, more can be done at the organization level to encourage reading. Organizations can support informal learning by encouraging professional reading as well as include current reading as part of staff discussions (Bell, 1977). Organizational leaders should share the books and articles they are reading (Tobin, 2000).  I think the Air Force does a great job promoting reading. Each year the Air Force Chief of Staff puts out a professional reading list. Here is the current list: http://www.af.mil/information/csafreading/index.asp

Does your organization have a professional reading list? If so, please comment below.


Bell, C. R. (1977). Informal learning in organizations. Personnel J, (6), 280. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=agr&AN=CAIN779442742&site=ehost-live

Skrabut, S. A. (2011). An examination of informal learning strategies for University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service educators. Manuscript submitted.

Tobin, D. (2000). All learning is self-directed: How organizations can support and encourage independent learning. Alexandria  VA: ASTD.

United States Department of Labor, Survey by Yahoo! Chief Solutions Officer Tim Sanders and Business Majors, Survey by Bersin & Associates, How Executives Stay Informed.

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