• Josie McCoy, Project Manager

Final 15: How Reading Expands Your Boundaries & Helps You Grow as a Leader

I’ve always been an avid reader. I majored in English and recently rediscovered my love for the public library. That being said, I’ve never had the opportunity to build reading into my daily work schedule – until now.

Final 15 At Boomer Consulting, I’m lucky to be part of a team that places a strong emphasis on innovation, diversity and leadership. Part of that commitment involves taking 15 minutes of our workday to read a new book or article. I call this the “Final 15, ” because I do it at the end of my workday.

Although it seems easy, it can be a challenge to unplug from the daily buzz of the workplace and dive into a different mindset. I set reminders on my calendar that it’s time to read, make sure I’ve finished up my to-dos by the last 15 minutes of my day and I have to be proactive about finding a new book or a new article to read. Reading fiction books is a cinch for me, I’m usually head over heels after the first page and can’t bear to put down the book until I finish it. Reading more scholarly articles and books is a bit more of a stretch, but I’ve found this daily dose of self-discipline sneaks into my work habits as well. If I am staying on top of my reading, I can harness what I learn during those 15 minutes and consistently apply it to my work as a Project Manager.

Benefits of reading for professional development Reading for professional development gives me a chance to push myself to examine a plethora of business values, as well as reserve the last few minutes of my workday for reverence and self-introspection. I’ve discovered this time to be invaluable, as it’s allowed me to not only to grow as an employee but to help me develop a position of self-guidance and leadership through expanding my ways of thinking and promoting self-discipline.

My first “business book” was The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace by Gary Chapman and Paul White. In my previous roles before joining Boomer Consulting, I wasn’t encouraged to take a step back and examine the fluid dynamics of workplace relationships. Reading this book was, at first, a challenge for me. It prompted me to explore my own wants and needs as an employee and determine how I like to be shown gratitude. In all of my years of working, I hadn’t discovered this! I reflected back on all of the times it felt like I couldn’t get through to a coworker or a boss. Now I realize it was because we spoke in different languages of appreciation! This seemingly simple shift changed my entire outlook on workplace interactions. I am, without a doubt, more mindful of my coworkers, and more aware of how I wish to be treated.

I’m about four months into my position at Boomer Consulting, and I can confidently say that taking the time to read every day has encouraged me to become more active in the culture of Boomer Consulting. In my first few months, I was not only new to the profession but to the accounting world. I felt a bit lost and overwhelmed with all of this new information and working for a new company. Reading helped me become more confident about asking questions. Now, my coworkers recommended other business books to read, and recently we had a book swap at our team meeting.

Taking time each day to shift gears and open a book has proved incredibly fruitful to me not only as an employee but as an individual. My final 15 minutes of reading has promoted new ways to think outside the box, actively encouraged me to become more conscious about regulating my time and seeking new learning opportunities, and finally allowed me to integrate myself into the culture of my new organization through one of my favorite pastimes. All of these qualities are molding me into a more conscientious and inquisitive employee, this provides me with a feeling of leadership in my role as a Project Manager at Boomer Consulting.

Looking for more ways to develop as a leader?

The Boomer NextGen Leader Circle is a community of the accounting profession’s next-generation leaders helping one another better transform their firms for the future. Download Highlights from the recent Boomer NextGen Leader Circle meeting to find out what challenges and solutions the accounting profession’s NextGen Leaders are talking about or schedule a call with one of our Solutions Advisors today.

As a Project Manager for Boomer Consulting, Inc., Josie brings with her a creative background and excitement for getting to know the accounting profession. Her primary focus is on training engagements and overseeing events at the Accounting Innovation Center.

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