“Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” —Harry Truman
That is the philosophy behind Leader Box, a monthly book subscription service. If you are in or want to be in a leadership position, developing your education through books is a necessity. Warren Buffett says he spends 80% of his day reading. Bill Gates reads 50 books a year. Mark Cuban reads three hours a day. Elon Musk taught himself to build rockets by reading books. Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon started their book clubs. Reading is essential to advancing your business skills.
LeaderBox by Michael Hyatt can help you with this. It provides you with the structure you need to read more and develop your leadership skills. And they’ve set it up so you can do it in just 30 minutes a day.
LeaderBox is a subscription service so each month you get two business books with study guides and reading plans delivered to your home. Michael Hyatt’s team carefully curates the books with an eye towards developing your leadership skills.
I have been dying to try LeaderBox for several months. The only thing holding me back was the $79 a month subscription fee. That’s a lot of money to spend each month even if it is an investment in yourself and your business.
Well, LeaderBox ran an ad on Facebook a couple of weeks ago, offering a previous month’s edition of the box, so I jumped at the opportunity to check it out. Then I stalked the tracking number impatiently waiting for it to arrive. When it got here, it was as good as Christmas morning. Because, books.
Every month you receive two books. Each book has an Activation Guide, a reading plan, and three quote cards featuring notable quotes from the book.
I received the box from November 2017, and it included the books Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High and Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less. I haven’t read either book, but Crucial Conversations has been on my TBR list, so I was super excited to see it as one of the books in the box I received.
As I said, each book comes with its own Activation Guide. The Activation Guide is what makes LeaderBox unique in the world of subscription book services. It provides a framework and reading plan so you can read both books in one month in about 30 minutes a day.
The guide starts with an Executive Summary. The Executive Summary gives you an overview of the book and how it will benefit you.
Then you get into the schedule of the book. Each day for ten days, the Activation Guide tells you how many pages to read. You get an overview of the Big Idea from those pages as well as Key Quotes.
Following the day’s reading assignment is by a blank 2-page spread where you can jot down your thoughts and ideas from the day’s reading. Part of active reading is writing about what you are learning. But it does NOT have to be fancy. Just write down keywords, phrases, ideas, ways to implement, whatever occurs to you. The more you do it, the more natural it will become. And it will help you internalize what you’ve read.
On Day 10 1/2, or when you’ve finished reading the book, you have space to write down your thoughts and how you plan to implement the book’s ideas. There are prompts to help you, based on a formula Michael developed called InSIGHTS.
Once you’ve completed the InSIGHTS pages, Michael’s team has created an Action Plan for each book. Reading the book is great, but the benefits come from implementing what you’ve learned.
The last part of the Activation Guide is Resources for Going Deeper. It's a list of relevant articles, podcasts, videos, and other books that will help you delve further into the topic if you wish to do so.
Each book comes with its own set of quote cards. There’s a key quote from the book on each card (made of beautiful, heavy card stock) to serve as a reminder of what you’ve learned.
There is also a private Facebook group for LeaderBox subscribers. As all members are reading the same book and on the same schedule, the group gives them a place for discussion and networking, which is a valuable asset. (I did not have access to that group because my membership was similar to a trial membership.)
Overall, I am very impressed with the LeaderBox. It’s a fantastic tool for executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, really anyone who wants to grow their leadership skills. You get two books each month, specifically chosen to help you develop as a leader, delivered right to your door. Each book has its reading plan, so you already know how much to read each day. You can read each book in just 30 minutes a day, Monday-Friday. That gives you the weekends to tackle other reading material or to catch up on the week’s LeaderBox reading if necessary. You have a designated place to write down your thoughts about the book. And you have access to the Facebook group where other leaders are reading the same book, on the same schedule. It’s an excellent opportunity for discussion and accountability.
In full disclosure, I’m not going to continue my subscription to LeaderBox. I’m a book blogger. I’m a voracious reader. Reading leadership and other business books is as natural to me as breathing. And I already have the habit of note-taking like Michael’s InSIGHTS.
So if you are like me and already reading two or more leadership books per month and implementing what you’re learning, you probably don’t need LeaderBox.
But if you need to develop that daily reading habit and you are serious about improving your leadership and business skills, I highly recommend LeaderBox. At $79 a month, it is not inexpensive. But it is more cost-effective and time-friendly than trying to find books and create action plans for yourself. And it’s definitely less expensive than conferences and masterminds. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
You can find out more about LeaderBox here.
Have you tried LeaderBox? What did you think? Do you participate in some other non-fiction, business book service? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments.