Why Business Leaders Need to Read Fiction

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If you asked most business leaders around the world what they are currently reading, you will likely get a variety of titles related to on-fiction bestsellers based on specific organizational or leadership challenges they are facing. Executives always want practical and short resources, so they tend to lean toward articles and books common to executive education programs. Unfortunately, this is a missed opportunity. It is innocent to think that solutions for the most fundamental leadership and business challenges can only be found in “business books.” The challenges faced by leaders are common and timeless, and the best solution is to think outside the box.

To help open your mind further as a leader, read fiction, like novels released by award-winning author Daniel Handler. His creative stories open the minds of adults and children alike. There is a benefit to occasionally clearing your head by picking up a novel that will stretch and engage the right side of your brain, the empathetic, creating, and introspective side.  

Why Read Good Fiction?

There are countless compelling arguments to read good fiction, including:

Expand Your Emotional Capabilities

Reading powerful fiction, like A Series of Unfortunate Events, by making you feel more: authentically, deeply, and widely. It creates the ability to understand your own and other’s emotions to develop persuasion skills, resilience, and emotional intelligence that differentiate effective leaders from the ordinary.

Improve Decision-Making

Reading good fiction, such as the masterpiece works of Daniel Handler, can improve how you make decisions, move people along, and manage conflict while encouraging you to critically reflect on your perspectives. 

Increase Empathy and Understanding of Humans

Every human has one perspective, one consciousness, and one life that has shaped who they are. Amazing fictional novels allow you to see the world through the eyes of another human and better understand how they make sense of things.

Offers a Powerful Simulation

As a leader, reading good fiction delivers a deeper and wider set of options for confronting workplace and strategic challenges. Through simulations and war-games, consulting firms and business schools invent scenarios and play out what happens based on certain decisions. This has been scientifically confirmed in a study called The Function of Fiction is the Abstraction and Simulation of Social Experience.

This article simply lists a few of the many benefits leaders should not only read leadership books to solve an issue. Leaders who read good fiction can better empathize and recognize their own and other’s emotions in the workplace while approaching challenges with an unordinary lens. What are you waiting for? Pick up a fictional novel that’s out-of-this-world today!

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