How much do you read and how often? Reading is the defining edge of leadership. Your abilities begin to experience decay when reading is relegated. Reading fires your passion and recharges your leadership batteries. Reading is the opening of the tap to the well of knowledge that promotes insight, creativity and this sharpens your foresight. Reading helps you to share the same space with idea creators and bold achievers who penned down their experiences.

While reading enriches your leadership, writing provides you the platform to share the great lessons and strides that have made you become a better person. In most cases, the stories and accounts shared through writing gives insight to idea concept, development, growing stages and how they became novel. It gives the opportunity for you to state the dialogue of your inner recesses, its application and how these can help or change the perception of others or the course of history. Through reading, the mind is stretched to see new possibilities. Through deep thinking, new ideas are given birth to. Through writing these ideas are placed in public domain to benefit anyone who accesses it.

To help you build a reading culture, you must develop an approach that will work for you. The following methods will help you build a personal approach to a great life of reading and writing

1. The volume approach. Define how much of your time in a day that will be devoted to reading and express it in percentages. For instance, you could say I will spend 20% of my time daily on reading (20% of 24 hours is 4.8 hours). The volume of time you set may be more or less than 20% but make sure you keep faith with your arrangement. Warren Buffet has adopted this policy by allocating 80% of his daily time to reading.

2. The target approach. This approach helps you set a target at the beginning of the year by stating the number of books you want to read. This number is subsequently divided by the number of months and weeks and a periodic measurement is carried out. Bill Gates has used this method with a yearly target of 50 books. You can choose to start reading one book per month making 12 books in a year and build it up to something greater.

You can also set a target of reading a pre-determined number of chapters before going to bed or the number of pages you must cover before falling asleep. The target approach has also been adopted by some leaders and commuters who use every commuting time to read and acquire knowledge from available materials either bought by them or provided by the travel agencies.

3. The allotted time approach. This approach means you set an agreed time for you to read on daily basis based on your convenience. The allotted time could be two hours every day and it must be flexible with your operations. This method will help you achieve more and can be adopted by shift workers and individuals with constrained working lifestyle. The allotted time could be 30 minutes or an hour before going to bed or any convenient time

4. The freelance approach. This is mostly unstructured for some individuals, but it helps them read anything they find convenient. They are interested in reading anything from internet sources, newspapers, articles, books etc. but without any special interest. They love reading for pleasure and they pick up anything that excites them and tune off thereafter.

5. The comparator method. This method helps one to measure their reading habit with other social habits or hobbies. In this method, the individual may allocate equal time to reading and watching television or exercises. If he/she spends one hour in the gym, they equally allocate one hour to reading. This method helps the individual to apply equal measures or balance to mental, physical and emotion development of their personal life.

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