Child development specialists are always telling us that reading to our kids is critical for their development.
The same is true for your team.
If you want to lead well at home, read to your kids… if you want to lead well in your organization, read as a team.
Here are 5 reasons to read as a team and why doing so matters so much to the growth and health of your organization:
1. IT BUILDS A COMMON LANGUAGE.
Good communication is critical for any team to thrive. One of the best things you can do for your team is to create a common vernacular; language that binds you together and provides clarity and consensus on who you are, what you believe, where you are going and what matters most.
Common language in our culture is the expression that “all of us is better than one of us.” That principle came out of something we read together that now consistently reminds us that we are best when we operate as a team instead of as individuals. Reading together as a team helped forge not only that language but that culture.
2. IT EMBEDS TEACHABILITY INTO YOUR DNA.
Reading together as a team is a corporate admission that you don’t know everything yet. It keeps your team humble, teachable and hungry.
Team members that lack teachability hold everyone back. Absorbing great ideas together as a team will quickly surface who on the team is ready to help you move forward and who will only hold you back.
3. IT FORCES PEOPLE TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE.
Reading together forces your team to get on the same page when it comes to mission and vision. The discussions that ensue while reading together brings ideologies and differences to the surface which gives you, as the leader, yet another place within your organization to express what is important and what you want to see embraced in your culture. Your team won’t produce great tunes unless every is reading off the same sheet of music.
4. IT KEEPS YOUR TEAM OPEN TO CHANGE.
Reading together opens doors to new ways of thinking about the same old problems. It forces you to think out of the box, look at things differently and consider new approaches to doing whatever it is that you do. Consequently, one of the best things you can do for your team is to set the tone for growth by revealing your own openness to great ideas from outside of your organization. Leaders who are threatened by such discussions teach their teams to resist new ideas as well. Young leaders especially want to know that the opportunity exists within your organization to run, risk, experiment and do something lasting. Shutting down new ideas only proves to them that new things will never happen here.
5. IT DEEPENS THE LEADERSHIP POOL.
I’ll just come right out and say it, “You’re not Jesus.” You are not the be-all, end-all for your team. Moreover, your team needs more than what you alone can offer them. They need other voices speaking into their lives, other people pushing them out of their comfort zones and other leaders challenging their ideals. They need a deeper leadership pool than just you. (And for the record, you do too.)
If you’ve been leading your team for more than 5 years your team has already heard all of your stories and probably all of your great ideas. Good leaders know that their team needs access to the outside – access that reading together easily affords. Reading together deepens the leadership pool within your organization.
These are just 5 ways that reading together is critical for your team’s growth and development. I’m sure there are more… in fact, if there’s one I’ve left out feel free to leave it in the comments section below.