There is too much to read

There is too much to read. That is a fact.

But, if that is an excuse for incompetence or for post factual debates, then it is a poor excuse indeed.

When Google released data of Britons searching for what Brexit meant after the event, it was tempting to laugh at their ignorance. Yet, is that different from most parts of the world right now?

The easy, lazy solution is to assign blame. Blame the CEO who gives you false assurance, blame the politician who runs a campaign based on lies and blame whoever else you think is wrong.

Like all easy, lazy solutions, it is useless and accomplishes squat. Better to say “mea culpa” and move on – no one to blame but us. Everyone at your company is educated – there is no reason they shouldn’t be able to get to the truth of what the leadership is saying. Wherever you are, if there are more educated people than not, there is again no reason they shouldn’t be able to get to the truth of what their politicians are saying.

No, the issue is not one of education. It is one of the worst kind of incompetence – one that is embraced by people who could quite easily be competent.

We live in an age where you can get most questions answered by simply typing or saying a few words. If we wanted more, we could also just get a few books on that topic of interest written by people who’ve devoted a lifetime to research on that topic. Is doing this a guarantee that we’ll get to the truth? Probably not. But, is doing this a guarantee that we’ll begin to understand what is going on and be more competent? Absolutely.

The chances are high that you’ll be a better spouse if you took the time to read a marriage book or two. The chances are very high that you’d be a better decision maker if you picked up one of the best decision making books out there. And, reading some of the best distilled wisdom on how to run your start-up is likely only going to aide you in the quest. If reading a book is too hard, no worry – just get a summary of the book somewhere – they’re a dime-a-dozen. Or, ask someone who has read the book to take 15 minutes to give you a summary.

But, if you refuse to do the pre-work or choose to scorn at the wisdom of those who’ve done it before, then you lose the right to expect competence from your leaders and those around you. If you don’t spend time understanding what is going on and where we’re heading, you lose the right to expect your politicians to be better.

If you’re wondering what it takes to flip the switch, it is simple. Spend 30 minutes every week day reading a book that will teach you something.

That habit alone will change all our lives. Not just yours – because you will then spread the goodness of all that reading to us. Thank you for doing that.

The only skill expected from your education is an eagerness to learn for the rest of your life. The rest is gravy.

there is too much to readThanks to Fast Company for the image