Sunday, November 9, 2008

The key to expanding your knowledge is reading

Magic SVP Pat Williams is one of my favorite people.  I'm fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him in Orlando when I was an assistant there.

Pat, who also served as GM of the Hawks, Bulls, and Sixers, is a prolific reader who has written more than 50 books, including "Read for Your Life."  In it, Pat writes:

"Reading says, 'Challenge me.  Stimulate me.  Push my mind.  Make it work.  Make me think.'"

Of the books Pat's written, there's one that sits dog-eared on my shelf called "How to Be Like Coach Wooden." In one chapter, Pat writes about Coach Wooden's love for books and passion for learning.  

Here's an excerpt from that book:

The philosopher Erasmus said it like this:  

"When I get a little money, I buy books, and if any is left, I buy food and clothes."

In today's world, it seems that many people feel they don't have time to read. Reading good books helps us understand the world.  It requires discipline and initiative, traits that help make an effective leader.

How important is reading?  

Author Brian Tracy cites research that shows the highest-paid Americans read for an average of two to three hours every day.  The lowest-paid Americans do not read at all.

He says, "The key to expanding your knowledge is reading.  Perhaps not all readers are leaders, but leaders are readers."

My long career in professional sports has given me the opportunity to meet many successful men and women from all arenas and one thing almost all of them have had in common is a love for good books.

If you want to be like [Coach Wooden], you must acquire a love of reading.