Turn the Page – How to Read Like a Top Leader: Sometimes you find a book that you cannot stop thinking about, quoting from and going back to as you re-check your memory on certain issues. Turn the Page IS that book for me.
In the interest of full disclosure, I LOVE this book BIG time. My review is overwhelmingly positive and therefore biased because Turn the Page is my new best-friend.
Turn the Page is a 142 page easy-read manual on how to read like a leader. It is about how to comprehend what ever you are reading and it provides strategies for comprehension help; like, write in your books. Yes, WRITE right into the pages of your books. Leave notes, comments, questions, key words, what other books a passage is similar or different to. Talk about a graffiti artist’s (which I’m not) paradise – I sure didn’t need to be asked twice to write all over my book.
A different and bibliotherapeutic approach to reading (there are many ways to read), Turn the Page encourages action: it demands the reader read with a pen from the moment the book is picked up. It encourages the reader to date the inside cover of a book when it has been begun and then when finished. It encourages the reader to begin with questions in mind and to write those questions onto the inside cover of the book. The questions can be unrelated to the topic and just questions on your mind. The idea is that reading helps solves problems – any problems and from any reading. Why? Words spark thoughts and thoughts spark memories and memories cause reflection and discovery about issues often totally unrelated to the initial words read.
Obviously non-fiction, Turn the Page is FULL of quotes from and references to literary classics, researchers, motivational writers, famous people and is contributed to by the many serious female and male leaders at LIFE Leadership. These LIFE Leadership dudes average a book a week and not only do they read them, they understand and act on the information in them. Seriously, those dudes are extreme readers and I want to be like them when I grow up…..because good leaders read. Sharing their thoughts, strategies and reasons for reading so voraciously in Turn the Page is a priceless gem that I sure didn’t pick up when I was undertaking leadership subjects in my undergraduate degree, post graduate diplomas or a Masters of Business.
The concept of books as mentors is strong throughout Turn the Page. I cannot hang out with the contributors to Turn the Page (I’m in Australia and they are in the US and Canada) but I can use their book and the books they recommend as a mentor. Books are not subject to global time differences, do not keep office hours and are never unavailable or judgemental. They are there, ready to support you, to challenge and inspire you or to mirror back what you need/want to see.
Turn the Page is specifically written to teach people how to read like a leader. One of the most striking things is that leaders read – a lot. The second difference is that leaders act on what they read. Thirdly, leaders read widely, across several genres and approach fiction and non-fiction, classic or contemporary with the same actions of getting beyond the words written on the page to the meanings beneath the words. Did you know, that leaders even have more than one book on the go at the same time? True. Turn the Page encourages having books in different household/office locations and picking them up for a read as you move around your daily activities.
The voice of Turn the Page is chatty and engaging and makes light work of a “how to read like a leader” manual. It is not like “learning” or “instruction” at all.At University I read because I had to. In English Literature we studied a book a week. It was hard going and I hated the set analysis. When I left University I just wanted to read trash…..and to not think about what I was reading. I wanted a mindless read with no-one telling me what to look for or what particular meanings were. Darn, darn, darn that I hadn’t read Turn the Page because their model of analysing the written word by seeking that which makes a difference to your own life makes it fun and easy and not tortuous and boring.
One of the objections I have heard to the LIFE Leadership model as it launches into the Australian market is that it seems patriarchal and that women always take a back seat. Turn the Page dispels this myth. Female leaders are both quoted and positively discussed all the way through Turn the Page. The very first quote, on its own page and before the contents page, is from Margaret Fuller, journalist and women’s rights activist: Today a reader, tomorrow a leader. Even when the classics are discussed, female characters are portrayed as strong and gutsy – leaders of their time and leaders of our contemporary minds as we read and learn from them.
EVERYBODY needs to read this book (from school student to University student to stay at home parent to business executive) and parts of it need to be read and instructed upon to young children as they are learning to read. I was in Grade Three when I learnt about comprehension and the simple ideas of understanding the written word never left me…..but, from Turn the Page I got sooooo much more. It is like a modern-day lay version of comprehending sub-text and leadership theory.
Will I read this book again? ABSOLUTELY. Turn the Page is now a reference book for me. I find myself opening it and reading a paragraph as though it is a “Destiny” card or a daily devotional. At the risk of appearing a zealot, I will be buying multiple copies as gifts for my adult children and I have plans to begin our book club with Turn the Page.
To buy a copy of Turn the Page. How to Read Like a Top Leader (LIFE Leadership Essentials Series, 2013, Obstacles Press), head to LIFE Leadership’s online store. It costs just $15.95 (soft cover) plus P&H and is also available as an eBook for $11.50. Order straight off the website and have it delivered to you.
This book review is written by Megan Bayliss, a semi retired Eco Social Worker/Child Therapist and independent consultant of LIFE Leadership, a personal development and leadership training company.