In today’s job market, everyone wants that little edge that will set them apart from other applicants. And on the job, everyone wants to make themselves as valuable and indispensable as possible. What can you do?
Lee Cockerell, who I mentioned here before, says it plain and pure:
If you want a competitive edge, read, read, and read some more. Read industry publications, of course, but don’t stop there: Read a daily newspaper; subscribe to Time, Newsweek, or other newsmagazines; read novels and nonfiction books; surf the Web for blogs or articles in areas of personal interest. If your gut tells you to delve into something, go for it. You’d be surprised how information that may seem unrelated to your work can feed your mind and help you make better decisions. (p. 210)
Cockerell also notes that someone once asked Warren Buffett what he does on an average workday. He “said he spends most of his time reading–not just corporate reports and business magazines but entire newspapers, books, and other publications. Why? Because his decisions about potential investments are based not just on business news and data but on information about the entire world” (p. 209).
I suppose I’m preaching to the choir here. But you might be surprised, as I’ve said here previously, how many people in publishing actually don’t read. They don’t read their own books, their competitors’ books, or books just for enjoyment or out of a curious mind.
If your goal is success in the marketplace, you could hardly ask for a better role model than Warren Buffett. And if you want your work–dare I say, your life–to be more enriching, you could hardly ask for a better habit than reading.