If you’re new to my site, you may not know each Friday I answer a question from a leader somewhere in the world. The series is called Today’s Challenge. Today… Why read blogs?
This may strike you as an odd question, but I like it – maybe because two years ago, I was asking the same question. Let’s face it, I don’t know any leaders who seem to have much spare time on their hands. Most leaders are confronted daily with the challenge of doing more with less. For many of us, the demands of our role quickly consume our personal and leadership capacity. So again, I think the question, “Why read blogs?” is relevant.
Here are five reasons I suggest every leader find a few blogs he or she finds helpful and add them to your routine.
Easy to scan for relevance – If you subscribe to a few blogs through email or RSS, you can look at the title and/or the first paragraph and determine if you want to read it now, later or never. It’s not as easy to make that determination when reading a book or considering a podcast.
Compressed information – Most blogs, at least the ones I read, are fairly succinct. This saves time! I would rather get an idea in 500 words (560 today) vs. having to read a 200-page book. If I like the idea or need more information, there’s almost always a book on the topic in question. Or, you can use the comment section to contact the author directly to obtain more insight.
Timely information – If I have a leadership thought today and decide to write a book about it, the information might make it to the world in 24 MONTHS. If something happens in the news that contains a leadership lesson for us all, it can be in our inbox within minutes/hours. (Here’s a post I wrote when Peyton Manning left the Colts.) Blogs have become a primary news source for our generation.
Trusted source – Every writer has bias. When you and I choose who we read, we can do so based on what we know about the writer. What is his or her worldview? What motivates them? What are they trying to accomplish? Do we feel they are a trusted source of counsel? We get to decide. This is much more difficult (impossible) with traditional media.
Easy to share – I’m convinced one of the things the best leaders do is help others learn and grow. This takes many forms. One of them is sharing links to good content you’ve discovered on a blog. Yes, you can tell someone about a book or a podcast; you can even buy them a book. But how many books can you buy for others? Sharing a post is easy, fast and cheap.
I’m not looking for more to do, but I am looking for ways to lead more effectively. Blogs help me do that. That's why I'm stepping up my readership. My goal is to read at least one post a day.
If blogs aren't part of your leadership development routine, give it a try for 30 days. If it doesn’t help, try a few other sites before you abandon the idea. I think you’ll find the practice to be a low investment, high return activity.[GLS_Shield]
Which leadership blogs do you find helpful?