You are what you read.Posted: July 18, 2009
“You’re the same today as you’ll be in five years except for the people you meet and the books you read.”- Charlie “Tremendous” Jones
On my 10 hour flight to Boston last week I was able to complete The 21 Irrefutable Rules of Leadership. As I was reading, the lady next to me noticed and began asking me questions about the book. Did I like the book, what was my profession, was I a student, and so forth.
We ended up having a great conversation about professional life aboard (she worked mainly between London and Madrid), something I’m interested in pursuing at some point.
The conversation made me wonder if it would have occurred had I been reading Maxim, or a comic book. I’m not attacking either, but just to make the point that what you read can have a direct impact on the impressions you make.
In a post I wrote in June titled Personal Branding: It’s Not Just About You, I discussed how your associations, both professional and personal, can have an impact in terms of how people perceive you and what you are about, i.e. your personal brand. I’d like to take that idea further and suggest that along with you being the company you keep, you are also what you read.
It’s pretty straight forward. Just like the clothes you wear, and the people you associate with affect how you are viewed, so do the books you read. Think about the books on your bookcase (if you have one) and what would someone think about you upon glancing over the titles. What opinions and assumptions would they make about you?
Not only that, but what you read can affect how you think, your creativity, vocabulary, etc. All the things tied up into what makes you unique.
that I see myself evangelizing to all my friends about.