Greetings.  If you're like most people in the workplace, you read a predictable set of things.  Internal reports, industry publications, and newsletters and magazines in your own area of specialization–which could be marketing and sales, HR, IT, RD, customer service, product development, finance, or operations.  All important stuff to know in order to do your job effectively and "keep up with the Jones" (i.e., the other clever folks in your industry).  You might also read the latest business or general news and follow a few appropriate blogs.  After all, it's good to be semi-well rounded.  But let's face it.  We don't have a lot of free time to read.  And most us haven't made reading a top priority.

But we should.  Because reading a wide variety of things, and casting a much wider net for ideas and inspiration, is about the most powerful competitive tool that individuals and companies can have in this or any economy.  It's your way to get a leg up on the genius from other industries and other walks of life that could make a real difference to your success. And it's actually fun to do.  In fact, it's as simple as making a stop at the local bookstore to see what's new, interesting, and thoughtful.  Or subscribing to a magazine from a totally different discipline–particularly if that discipline is based on innovation. Or reading a leading travel magazine like National Geographic Traveler or Travel and Leisure that will spark your thinking about unfamiliar places and people and what makes them remarkable.  Or magazines like Discover and Science that make the world of scientific knowledge and discovery come to life. And once you get started, you might even create a traveling library (i.e., basket) of fun and thought-provoking reading to share with colleagues across your company or organization.  And then create a reading club to discuss what you've read and its implications for your success.

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You are what you read.  And if you and your organization want to aspire to be more than you are today, you will have to read more than you do today.  Reading new and different things ignites our innate sense of curiosity and imagination. And gives us the ability the look at our own company, organization, and world in new and different ways.

We win in business and in life by combining what we know best with what others know so well.  What will you, and the geniuses you work with, be reading in the days and weeks ahead?

Cheers and have a great weekend!