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Those who Read, Lead

True or false? I say true. People who read tend to know more, are more articulate and have stronger interpretative skills than those who do not. Reading is a way for you to learn and grow and challenge ideas and notions. It exposes you to different perspectives, it teaches you about different subjects, and it’s a channel for your imagination to soar. I was listening to an audiobook on manifesting your destiny the other day (I’m not sure if listening to audiobooks counts as reading–what do you think?) and the speaker made a bold statement: all of the world’s best leaders are voracious readers. I thought about it for a while before I had to agree–but what’s the correlation?

Content is key

Find content that really interests you and sucks you in, and you’ll find that reading is fun. Some of my friends really enjoy non-fiction or motivational books, while I prefer fiction and stories where I can relate to the characters–to the point where I actually wish they were my friends. Reading is fun. For me, it really is. It’s a source of entertainment. My current favorite book is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. I can’t recall the particulars about the story but what I do remember is that I would stay up until 3am reading–giving up when my eyes begged for some sleep. (This was during college and I remember telling friends, “I’m not going out tonight because I want to read.” Yup, I really thought it was that good.)

It’s a social springboard

Sports, movies and news aren’t the only things being discussed over the watercooler, books can be a way in as well. Expand your reading horizons by connecting with colleagues and discussing recent books they’ve finished. (Hint: also a great way to share books without spending a bundle). If there’s enough interest, you might even be able to start a book club out of it which turns into an informal way to network across the company. I recently got into a deep conversation with the director of my group as we discussed Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy.

Expand your vocabulary

Not the best writer? Does grammar make you nervous? Reading can help you improve in both of those areas. By exposing yourself to more written works or expanding your vocabulary, reading can actually make you improve your writing skills. And it’s a gradual learning curve: you can set your own pace and level of challenge. Or maybe you make a bet with yourself: every time you come across an unfamiliar word or concept, look it up and try to incorporate it into your day-to-day vocabulary. (This is a reason why I would think about buying a tablet: so I can instantly look up an unfamiliar word or reference and learn about it.)

Read with your ears

You’re busy, it puts you to sleep, your eyes are tired enough by looking at a screen all day–all excuses, but all can be valid. Try something new and listen to books on tape.  (The jury voted: audiobooks count as reading.) Suddenly, you may find yourself wishing for a longer commute home so you finish ‘reading’ more books. If you’re the type of person who absorbs information by listening or talking, this could be a better way for you to learn from books as well. Let’s face it–the radio just plays the same song over and over again. I just got back an hour a day that I would waste driving and turned it into an educational opportunity.

Why do you read?

Author

Sejal is a Recruitment Marketing Project Manager at Intel. She is part of the team that is responsible for Intel’s global employment brand. This team helps connect candidates with Intel and Intel with candidates using channels such as the Jobs at Intel web site, the Life at Intel microsite and other Web 2.0 channels. Sejal specifically manages theJobs at Intel Blog and Intel’s recruitment Facebook strategy. Originally from Toronto, Ontario (yes—a real, breathing Canadian!), Sejal graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with her Bachelor’s in Communications before starting at Intel in 2008. When she’s not working, you’ll find Sejal working at crossing things off of her Bucket List (which includes skydiving, reading 1000 books and traveling the world), eating cupcakes or spending time with family and friends. To learn more about opportunities with Intel, visit intel.com/jobs, follow Intel on Twitter @JobsatIntel or check out the Jobs@Intel blog!

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