publication date: Sep 2, 2011
author/source: Fraser Green
A man who
doesn't read is no better off than a man who can't read. - Mark Twain
a confession: I'm pretty much addicted to communicating. I love to ask
questions, to listen, to learn from others, to find out what makes people tick.
And, if you know me, you're already quite aware that I like to talk way too
feel so fortunate to live in such a communications-rich world. I'm never lost
for something to watch (thank you, ted.com!)
Something to listen to (thank you, SIRIUS). Someone to connect quickly
to (thank you, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and text messaging to name just a
medium has its benefits and drawbacks. Twitter is quick and highly interactive
-but it doesn't encourage much depth. Ted.com speaker videos are deep and
thoughtful - but they each take about 20 minutes to watch (which is a LOT of
time in our world).
Depth and the
main point I want to make with you this month is that there's no substitute for
depth. In order to really grasp a subject - to understand it and appreciate it
- you simply have to invest some time.
is currency today. Honestly, if I had the choice today between making an extra
$50,000 a year and having a 30-hour day, I'd take the time in a heartbeat.
simply can't remember the last time I had a day where I had the time to do
everything I wanted to do. Highly demanding (but equally rewarding) job. Two
kids at home - and one on her own that I talk to almost every day. Two Labrador
Retrievers (who are a lot like kids in terms of energy). Yoga class. Getting
stuff done around the house. Actually picking up one of my guitars for a few
minutes. My life is nuts. Yours probably is too.
why I'm concerned about our reading habits.
know that reading books has done wonders for my careers. When I was a political
strategist and campaign director, I read books on sales and marketing, warfare,
leadership, history - and lots more. They were an incredible help to me. They
widened my perspective and fuelled my imagination.
that I'm in fundraising, I read a lot about various spiritual traditions,
psychology, persuasion, creativity, innovation, storytelling and (my newest
note that when I worked in politics, I didn't read a lot of books about
politics. And now that I'm a fundraiser, I certainly don't just read books on
fundraising and philanthropy. There's so much more out there that can make us
better fundraisers. Try a book on body language. On business leadership. A
biography of someone remarkable (as opposed to just famous). On seduction! Shakespeare or John O'Donohue
might open up your writing and speaking skills.
Buy, read, grow
month's tip is a simple two-step process. Step one is easy. Step two might take
this week ends, decide on three books that you think might be interesting,
challenging and stimulating. Once you've decided, go buy them.
those books before Christmas!
If you find a book you really love, please pop me an email
and tell me
about it. If you persuade me to read it, I'll send you a free copy of one of my
favourites from the past year. Happy reading!
Fraser Green is principal and chief strategist at Good Works, a consulting firm that works with Canadian
charities to engage donors at a truly human level and build donor loyalty and
commitment. Fraser welcomes your ideas, comments and criticisms about this tip.