I have started doing something recently that has really helped me in my own leadership development. Many of us read lots of books and in my case, I read a lot of business books so I can keep up professionally. I wish I had a photographic memory, but I don’t. So much of what I read is easily forgotten. And when I remember something I read I can’t find it very easily. So I came up with a simple, but powerful solution. I create an outline of what I have read when I finish reading, my own table of contents with notes.
As I read I underline things that are very relevant and put a paper clip or sticky note on the pages I want to make sure I refer back to in my table of contents. When I am finished with the book, on the inside cover of the book, I simply create an outline or table of contents of the most important things to me in the book.
As a result of using this simple technique, I have discovered several benefits.
- 1. It allows me to quickly find something that I remember reading.
- It helps me stay organized so I can reference concepts, stories etc… that I read, as I write my own book or train.
- I have my own Cliff Notes of every book I read.
The photo below shows a sample of my own outline from the book “Building Conflict Competent Teams” by Runde and Flanagan that I just finished reading. Click on it to get a large view. It’s messy, but it works for me, and I hope this tip works for you.
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