If you have ever thought about having your whole team, or whole organization read a book together, here are some ideas to consider.
1. STAY ALIGNED
As a leader within your organization, you have a duty to support your team and your organization with the utmost integrity that you can.
For me, integrity is about practicing our values.
When you choose a book for your team, choose one that is aligned with the organization’s values, and with your objectives and strategy.
It’s easy for a book choice to be construed as a passive-aggressive attack on someone’s performance.
In order to avoid this, be transparent about why you are choosing the book, and allow the team to give feedback on what they want.
2. KEEP IT RELEVANT AND TIMELY
Good to Great by Jim Collins was a great book... when it was written. Now, most of the companies in that book are no longer around.
There are some great classics out there, but be wary of choosing one just based on how many stars it has on Amazon.
The book you choose should be relevant and timely based on your current circumstances.
The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, though dated, is still highly relevant.
Anything written pre-2020 on long-distance leading, or remove teams may no longer be relevant.
3. ENSURE ACCESSIBILITY AND INCLUSIVITY
I once made the mistake of suggesting a book to one of my clients based solely on the reviews on Goodreads. I hadn’t read the book myself. Bad idea.
Although the information was in depth, it was hard to access. There was too much research, and not enough anecdotal stories of how to put the research into practice in a work setting.
It’s also important to think about accessibility for those with disabilities.
A member of one of my book circles is dyslexic, and some books she has to listen to simply because the font the publisher’s chose won’t work for her.
Another thought : Is the book available in multiple languages?
Although, your working business language may be English, if you have a global team, they may prefer to read in their native language.
4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE VULNERABLE
As I mentioned above, you don’t want your book choice to be a manipulation strategy to get your employees to perform better, but it can be a perfect way to model learning and vulnerability.
Choose a book that is in one of your growth areas, and be transparent about it.
“Hey team! I realize that I really need to work on how I give feedback to you all, so I decided to read ___________ to give me ideas. It would be great if we could all read it, so that we can share ideas, and improve our feedback together. Who would like to join me?”
By doing this, you model to your team that you are open to learning, open to feedback, and that you want to collaborate with them in the process.
The book choice should be about ALL of you growing and learning together.
Originally posted on LinkedIn with comments.
Read Deeper Not Faster
I am Theresa Destrebecq.