The Benefits of Reading for Leaders

What are you doing to learn as a leader?


What’s one of the most important habits leaders should harvest? According to Dr. Becky Barker, director of leadership development and volunteerism at the University of Oklahoma, it’s reading. In this video, Becky tells how she instills reading habits in her students. “It helps them to take that skill into the workplace someday,” she says.

Watch this video and think of ways to improve your reading habits to give you an advantage as a leader.

One of the things that I think is really key for college students to understand is that leaders are readers. And some of these students aren't drawn to read for fun and we try to do some programming that gets them engaged in reading personal development, leadership related books that are also complemented with some discussions. And if I can get students to read a book that will be helpful to them, it separates them from others when they're interviewing. It helps them to take that skill into the workplace someday. It also gives them that tool kit.

We give them a library of books, so if they come to our programs, they will graduate and have some materials that are transferable for the workplace environment. And getting them to learn to read and what they can gain from that is really critical. One thing that I tried to tell them is that you never arrive. You never arrive as a leader, and that they have to constantly read and improve, and look at the way that they lead, and how that impacts others, and challenge themselves to grow.

Dr. Becky Barker

Dr. Rebecca (Becky) Barker has worked in higher education since 1985 in various roles in student leadership development and leadership education. Her current work at the University of Oklahoma focuses on empowering college students to...

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