Admiral Stavridis states that the single best way to learn and grow as a leader is through reading books—both fiction and non-fiction.


Retired US Admiral James Stavridis has always been a voracious reader. He claims that every military leader who has reached the career heights that he has is a profoundly deep reader. Now the Chief International Security Analyst for NBC News, Stavridis urges aspiring leaders to read far more books—fiction and nonfiction. He says there are three big reasons why the best leaders are voracious readers:
  1. Books are simulators for the mind; they place you in the middle of events and force you to ask yourself, what would I have done in that situation?
  2. Books offer perspective. Leaders who read history books or historical novels can apply lessons from the past to help navigate contemporary events.
  3. Books improve writing and communication skills.
According to Stavridis: 
‘Good leaders must be good communicators, and the hard work of writing is best sharpened on the whetstone of reading.’