To be creative and inspired, one must be prepared to invest time in the cultivation of ideas. There is no better way to cultivate one’s creativity than through reading. Norman Cousins, famed American political journalist once said; “A library, to modify the famous metaphor of Socrates, should be the delivery room for the birth of ideas – a place where history comes to life.”
If you were to look at the habits of America’s most successful leaders, one commonality would be their passion for reading. Reading can help leaders improve their vocabulary, emotional intelligence, become a more adept communicator and inspire creativity. By and large their reading isn’t necessarily confined to business topics, but rather all types of literature.
I recently took over a new team in my corporate life. Therefore, one topic I have been reading a lot about is change management. Change management done well results in great business outcomes from a KPI and employee engagement perspective. Change management done poorly can undermine an entire business.
Here are some of my favorite reads on change management:
- HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Change Management
- Leading Change, by John Kotter
- Change Friendly Leadership, by Roger Dean Duncan
- Changemaking: Tactics and Resources for Managing Organizational Change, By Richard Bevan
- The Theory and Practice of Change Management: Third Edition, By John Hayes
Reading novels is crucial to unleashing your creativity and inspiration. Here are some of my favorites.
- Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
- The Alchemist, Pablo Coelho
- The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
- The Decameron, Giovanni Boccacio
- A Separate Peace, John Knowles
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
- Don Quixote, Miguel De Cervantes
- 1984, George Orwell
- Animal Farm, George Orwell
- Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
What are some of your favorite novels? I’m always looking for something new to read, so please share your favorites in the comments.