“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” — Harry S. Truman

I was in Richmond recently with 30 of Virginia’s top emerging leaders, facilitating their VSCPA Leadership Academy. The day before, they had a panel discussion with three graduates of our prior AICPA Leadership Academies. The advice that really resonated with the group could be boiled down to this: Read (more) and reflect. 

That directly aligned with our soon-to-be-famous saying at the Business Learning Institute, “In a period of rapid change and increasing complexity, the winners are going to be those who can learn faster than the rate of change and faster than their competition, or L>C2

One of my favorite authors and top business thinkers of all time, Tom Peters (follow Tom on Twitter at @tom_peters), echoes our philosophy in this short clip in which he talks about your personal competitive edge as to “outread the other guy.”


These young leaders talked how the alumni would say they should be reading and scanning broader business books and magazines and then making time to reflect and synthesize what they are learning. The key is to think about patterns you are seeing between the ideas in the books and your real-life experiences. And the ideas in the books that relate to other ideas you have read or come across. We call this linking and leveraging thoughts and ideas.

They inspired me to reflect back on a LinkedIn request I got last week to write a post about The Book That Changed Me and how that might help them keep their L>C2.

Executive Editor, Dan Roth sent an e-mail to encourage us to reflect on THE book we would say had the greatest impact on us (Here is my book). That e-mail forced me to think and reflect and write about it. After listening to these young leaders, I want to share Dan’s e-mail request as a format to encourage them to make time for some reflection of their own. Here is Dan’s e-mail:

“The idea is simple. Tell us what book most influenced who you are professionally or personally and how that change came about. Don’t just write a book review, tell a story: What were you doing when you discovered the book, and what was the process of change you underwent? Why was the book so meaningful to you, and what should others take from your experience? Who recommended it to you? How do you pass on your love for the book to your employees, colleagues, investors, donors, etc.?”

Here is my post about THE Book that Changed Me.

And fifty of Linkedin Influencers share thoughts on the books that “changed them” in this special feature set on LinkedIn.

Now tell us the books that changed you in the comments section and go outread the other guy or girl!

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