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Reading is an important yet overlooked aspect of leadership development. It is often regarded as a meaningless and leisurely activity. However, that is an erroneous approach that requires further consideration.

For starters, reading can boost emotional intelligence, improve your communication skills, and sharpen your intellect in a myriad of ways. For business leaders and entrepreneurs, the purview of reading must extend beyond the conventional business books to include biographies, novels, self-help books, histories, etc.

Against this backdrop, online book clubs come in handy, as they help business owners reap the benefit of quality reading. Learning by reading from your friends, community members and peers empowers you to grow as a business leader, industry influence or entrepreneur.

Here are 10 good reasons why becoming a member of book clubs can catapult your business growth:

• Helps you gain insights into new subjects
Joining book clubs provides you with an opportunity to know others’ opinions on topics in which you are interested. Regardless of whether you agree with them, book clubs help you gain in-depth, nuanced insights into specific subjects that may prove to be valuable for you business. Furthermore, they also offer a podium for you to interact online with other industry leaders.

• Makes you learn about seemingly unrelated but helpful things
So, you’re an industry influencer and are well-respected in your community for your knowledge and expertise. That’s great, but you may not want to be impervious to the idea of knowing the things that you don’t know yet that can help your business succeed.

By joining a book club, you delve into topics that you would normally not bother exploring. In addition to expanding your knowledge base, new genres of books will also build meaningful connections with business leaders of an unrelated domain, opening your mind to hearing more about their unique perspectives.

• Helps you de-clutter

The great thing about joining an online book club is that you need to read the books within a deadline, which basically means adhering to strict timelines – whether you like it or not. By introducing a healthy level of pressure to your reading habits, you’re likely to learn how to prioritize important tasks without messing up crucial deadlines. Now, that is a skill that is important to learn and master. As you progress, you can transfer it to relevant facets of your business life.

• Get challenged – in a positive way
Online book clubs will introduce you to plenty of reading material that may be challenging. It’s critical to remember to take that experience in stride and make it work in your favor. How?

Well, books that challenge your predefined notions about specific topics, or life in general, can embolden you to think creatively and proactively. Even if you disagree with a book, note the pertinent points that may improve your knowledge or alter your perspective in a constructive manner.

• Acquaints you with new writing strategies
When you join an online book club, you’re likely to get the opportunity to don a critic’s hat and review various pieces of content. By doing so, you will gain detailed insights about the numerous intricacies of writing techniques, approaches, and processes. This, in turn, will go a long way in honing your writing skills that may be needed for future projects.

• Improves your communication skills
By joining an online book club, you will be encouraged to share your viewpoints on a given topic after listening to and understanding other people’s opinions about it. This inevitably ends up sharpening your communication skills by forcing you to make your point cohesively and succinctly. When that happens, you will naturally gain a lot of confidence when sharing your views in a professional context.

• Helps you disseminate knowledge
Every business person or entrepreneur will need to share their knowledge with an individual or a group of people at some point in time. By imbibing the habit of regular reading, you become familiar with a variety of topics that can position you as a repository of knowledge for employees and peers. Sharing your knowledge and thoughts within your business will help you implement the lessons you’ve learned in the past and educate others effectively.

• Hones your public speaking skills
Communicating effectively and getting your point across to others on a public platform are two different things altogether. By becoming a part of a book club, you inexorably get the confidence of sharing your viewpoints decisively with a diverse audience on any platform. This will also give you an opportunity to encapsulate your information in a manner that holds your audience’s attention.

• Helps you access a wide range of sources for research
As a business influencer, joining an online book club is the ideal way to gain access to a wide range of reliable sources to carry out your own research. At the same time, you will also learn what other people have to say about the topic on which you plan to write.

• Improves your leadership skills
Joining a book club will also make you step out of your comfort zone in that you’ll be driven to practice what you preach in terms of leadership skills. As is the case with most businesses, you’ll need to manage different kinds of people who may think differently about the same subject and get them to function productively as a cohesive team.
Juggling multiple tasks while meeting deadlines is no mean feat; this can bring out the latent leader in you and make you go from strength to strength.

Bringing it together
For many, an online book club is nothing more than a knowledge-inducing hobby. However, you’ll soon find out that approaching it with a determined mindset will improve your public speaking, leadership, and organizational and communication skills. This can propel you to become an influential thought leader in your organization, which only bodes well for your business.

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