Reading & Lifelong Learning

At LeaderShape we believe in the power (and responsibility) of being a lifelong learner. And reading is a particularly meaningful way to expand our knowledge by exposing us to perspectives, ideas, and experiences beyond our current understanding.

National Book Month has inspired us to reflect on what we have learned from our own experiences reading books – and we want to share those lessons with you! Is there anything below that you relate to? What have books taught you?

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Photo by Jaredd Craig on Unsplash

Mary Kate Kaufman
Books have taught me to think creatively and have provided me a new perspective on the world. They have given me my own personal space where I can wind down and take time for myself. It has taught me so many life lessons and overall how to live a happy life.

Sarah Kelsick
I have read many books about something I don’t know about or I have a strong opinion about and have seen it from another side. Books have taught me to look deeper and be more understanding.

Abby Prince
What have books taught me? As a lifelong reader, I can’t recall a day that I didn’t make time to read, even if just for 5 minutes. Books have taught me the value of habits and making time each day for what’s important. Books have also taught me that even when you don’t seem to have anything in common with the characters from the outset, you are very likely to relate to them throughout the course of the book. I think of Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Liesel from The Book Thief; Mark Watney from The Martian; or Amar from A Place for Us. Their lives in Williamsburg, Nazi Germany, Mars, and California are nothing like mine. Yet I feel forever connected to them through their loves, plights, ideals, and dreams. And isn’t it like that in our real lives? When we can find what we have in common with the people we meet, it’s easier to understand them and perhaps even like them.

Sundas Shahid
Books have and continued to stretch my perspective and worldview. They allow me to simply be part of the stories, history, and in places that in realty would be impossible for me to be part of. Books not only deepen my knowledge around certain topics but also transport me to that world.

Vernon Wall
I rarely read for pleasure. I read to be a better educator. I love hearing about cutting edge research and theories that help us better understand the college student experience. I do like narratives though where I can hear of someone’s life experience.

Kristen Young
How to escape my current reality and come back refreshed and ready to face the day.
That everyone’s lived experiences are different and there is great value in truly listening to the story of another person.
That crying can bring healing.
That laughter is good for the soul.

Staying In Action: Part 1

We have had over 60 sessions and 2,500 participants and facilitators experience the Institute in 2019 so far! Add these folks to the over 70,000 who have also participated in the Institute over the past 32 years – and that is a lot of people carrying the lessons of the Institute with them. Some of us are deep into the work of activating what we learned at the Institute, while some of us are figuring out what it means to stay in action.

Whether you participated in the Institute a few weeks, a few months, or a few years ago, staying in action is the next step and an important part of being part of the LeaderShape community. As a LeaderShaper, we acknowledge the responsibility and privilege we have to create positive change in the world.

Over the next couple of days, we are going to share some ways in which you can stay in action and create change.

Keep Learning With Us
There isn’t an end to what we can learn. Learning is a life-long process. It’s exhilarating to know that there will always be new ideas to uncover. And there are ways that we can continue this learning together.

Download the LeaderShape App
Our new app is like having LeaderShape in your pocket and at your fingertips. It’s a daily opportunity to keep learning and keep teaching, in community with one another.AppPhonePhoto

  • Have a problem you to solve? Ask for advice.
  • Looking for information? Crowdsource that in the app.
  • Have a story or resource to share? Pass it on.
  • Get involved with what we’re sharing. Each month we’ll have a theme that is meant to keep us all engaged with growing as leaders and change-makers.

Download the LeaderShape app for iOS
Download the LeaderShape app for Android

Join us for Day 7 on the 7th of each Month
We use this day to explore a topic related to staying in action across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You’ll find encouragement as well as ideas and practices to incorporate into your day-to-day life.

Get Support, Give Support
We recognize and celebrate the community you have in your life beyond LeaderShape – those people who offer you guidance and support as well as the folks that you lift up through the encouragement you have to offer. Tending to these relationships is part of leadership and connection.

Maintain relationships from the Institute
It can be challenging to help people who weren’t part of the experience understand what happened and why it was so impactful. But the folks who were at the session with you do have that insight and can offer a special kind of support and understanding. Whether it is face-to-face or through technology, prioritize the connections you made during the program.

Find a mentor or coach
There are a lot of talented people in the world with experience we can learn from. Find someone who will share their time in a way that helps you grow and reach your goals.

Support Others
Did you know that you also have experiences and perspectives that will help others to reach their goals? Have you considered that your words of encouragement, appreciation, and feedback can elevate others and help them feel seen? If you didn’t, we hope you do now. Supporting others on their journey is an invaluable act.

Which of these ideas are you ready to try? Think on it and come back tomorrow for more thoughts to help you to stay in action.

#toleadread Book Club

To know LeaderShape is to know that we are committed to being life-long#ToLeadRead learners, that we believe in the power of story-telling, and that we know we can learn great things when we are in community with one another. Given all of this, we want to try something new and you’re invited!

We want to take a shot at a book club of sorts, taking #toleadread to another level. Here is what we’re thinking…

We Choose a Book
And by “we”, we mean you and us together! We’ll be starting with four titles and narrowing it down to the final selection by voting in a 3-round bracket. Head over to our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter account starting on Monday, October 22 and vote for the book you’d like to read along with us.

We Read it Together
Once the votes are in, the book choice will be announced on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and right back here on our blog. We’ll have about a month to read the book, and some of us on staff will be sharing our progress as we go. You can do the same using #toleadread.

We Have an Awesome Conversation
Meet us on BigMarker (link coming soon!) on Wednesday, November 28 at 1:00pm CST to explore the book with other LeaderShapers. Some of the LeaderShape staff will be there to lead us through questions and discussion points.

We hope you’ll join us for this experiment! Until then, drop us any questions you have down below.

#toleadread