Can We Afford Leading, Without Reading?

By Afrig Wasiso, Co Founder – CEO Inspira Group

Thanks to India, since 2011 I started to develop the habit of reading a book from cover to cover.

The old style education system in my college at that time, and of course the brutally stiff competition in the classroom, forced me into this.

During exams, we have to write a paper less than 30 pages long, handwritten, on the spot, books-closed, within 2.5 hours. We were doing this model of examination, for every single subject. It frustrated me.

On my first examination day I was so nervous, and I found my nose bleeding, hahaha. I was screaming and crying (in my heart).

My score marks were so bad at that time. The worst in my entire life. The examination had frustrated me, and the result of the examination frustrated me even more.

From that moment, I said to myself, I have to change the way I play this game.

What I learned from my first so-called Indian exam was: I can not make a 30 page paper on the spot, without having a strong mental image in my mind.

And the only way I can have that strong mental image and comprehension is by reading the book. from cover to cover.

I have never read books from cover to cover. Too lazy to do that. Only a few pages of reading and I started to feel dizzy, sleepy, and very tired. He. he.

But yeah my friend, sometimes we need some external forces to help us adapt into new habits. It happens when our brain realizes a TINA situation (There is No Alternatives).

Long story short the habit of reading books from cover to cover, has saved me at that time. It improves my social status in the classroom dramatically :))) and it saves me some scholarly awards as well.

The habit of reading books from cover to cover, has saved me even more, nowadays in leading my business. And here’s why.

How many books do you think someone wrote over the course of their life?

For most of us, the number is zero. For some full-time writers, it may reach a number of 10 or more. But for normal non writing figures (business people, politicians, professionals, artists) it might be one or two. One or two, in their entire life. Maximum three.

Think about this. 

When some people that are the best in the world at what they do, write a book, the one or two books of their life, will they make it average?

Or will they make it the best they can?

Will they do it half heartedly, or they will pour it with all their hard earned wisdom and ideas to make it a great book people talk about?

Of course, most of the time they will do everything to make it perfect. Some of the best books took more than two years to write. Because it is the one or two books of their entire life!

Can you imagine, people going through life with all the challenges they have, spending years of trying, failing, trying again, losing millions of dollars from bad decisions, crying, losing hope, having hope again, and they finally make it.

And after that… they are offering you that lesson from their lifetime of learning.. will you take it or will you neglect it?

It was costing them their lifetime, or maybe millions of dollars worth of mistakes or success until they reach that point of wisdom. Will you learn from him/her or will you neglect it?

If we neglect it, if we feel lazy and not reading it, that’s definitely our loss 🙂

I have a feeling that many great CEOs read more than 50 books a year, not because they are looking towards the benefit of reading, but they are imagining the huge cost of not reading.

Thanks to my partner, Satia Pradana, he made me read in the past 3 years more than I read in my entire life before. I found that many mistakes in both my personal and business life can be avoided if I have read those books before. Oh my God. Really.

So, let’s do ourselves a favor. I am a big believer that when you are a leader you should be a reader. TINA. There is No Alternative.