My #1 Tip for Consuming Leadership Content

Is there anything more delightful than settling into your favourite reading spot with a hot beverage eagerly anticipating your newest leadership read, armed with a yellow highlighter and some sticky coloured flags to effectively make use of all the great content you are about to consume? Next to browsing a book store with a latte in hand, this might be the next best thing for me.

I am a Leadership Coach, Speaker, Educator & Podcaster so I am always searching for resources such as stories to tell or to drive home an idea in a presentation or share an inspirational quote on social media.

After I read a book, it gets filed in my library with the rest of the books. I am optimistic. I always think I will remember exactly where all those amazing highlighted passages are located when I return to the book.

PROBLEMS with the traditional way of consuming content:

How I have traditionally consumed content hasn't been that effective and here's why:

1. Quick recall is challenging. Quickly referring to content that you read is not easy with a physical book. There is nothing more frustrating than searching for that one quote in a book thinking I knew what chapter it was in. Sometimes it feels like you are searching for a needle in a haystack.

2. Searching for content can be a time wasting rabbit hole. I can flip through hundreds of pages hoping my eye will catch that very important yellow highlighted line. Believe me sometimes I have a lot of highlighted passages. Sometimes I am not even searching in the right book! Right idea. Wrong author. This is not effective.

3. I often want to record my own thoughts about what I am reading, but I don't like to record them in the margins (it's often too small a space anyway.) Sometimes people want to borrow my books, so I don't want to write my personal thoughts about that topic in the book. Plus I want my thoughts in a place I can quickly recall them.

The Solution

As much as I love the feel of a physical book in my hands and the look of a great library in my home, I discovered an idea that works really well for someone like me who repurposes content. If you're a leader who is always eager to share what you've learned with your team or peers and want that content at your fingertips, these shortcuts are for you.

Drum roll please..... the answer is Kindle. It is actually what I can DO in Kindle that allows me to be more effective with my time. Read on. I saved the best tip for last!

Firstly, I use the Kindle app on my ipad to read books. The adjustable font size in this app is a bonus and the price of the books is also cheaper than a physical copy.

Here's the Magic✨:

1. On my Kindle app on ipad, I can easily highlight a passage by dragging my finger across the screen. I can actually choose different coloured highlighters. I can separate and colour coordinate ideas if I want; for example, quotes could be highlighted in yellow and stories in blue. If you want to view all your yellow highlighted quotes, you can use a filter to get them all in one place.

2. No more looking for a needle in a haystack. You can use the FIND 🔍feature to type in a collection of words to help you find what you are looking for in your digitally downloaded book. This is super helpful and fast especially if you cannot recall the passage verbatim. Type in a few keywords and Voila! Every passage containing those words are filtered. No more flipping page by page. This has been a great time saver.

3. Add your own note. I love this feature. After I highlight a passage, I can add my thoughts to the idea. Last year when I was prepping to interview Sister Joan Chittister on my podcast Soul Sister Conversations I wanted to be prepared. Sister Joan was a busy lady at the age of 84! She was gracious to offer her time and insight. She is an internationally renowned speaker and had appeared on Oprah twice!

To show her proper respect of her time and knowledge, I wanted to be well versed in her material. The interview was based on her book The Time Is Now. In Kindle, I used the add a note feature to prepare for the podcast. As a simple example demonstrated in the photo below. I highlighted a passage then noted a possible podcast question (or other reflections to contemplate at a later time) so I wouldn't forget. I love that I can capture my ideas throughout the reading of a book. If there is one thing I have learned, write it down immediately or you will forget. This feature is a major bonus!

4. The best tip of all?? Everything you highlight including your notes is stored in a Kindle clipping that you can email to yourself! Game changer. From there you can simply print your clippings which contains all your highlights plus your personal notes. OR you can copy and paste to organize the information any way you want. Perhaps you want to file stories in a separate file or organize quotes together. This is the ultimate in being organized with content you can effectively use in your leadership education.

Make your learning time count. These shortcuts are a great way to make BEST use of the content that most resonated with you in leadership reads.

As leaders, you want to be effective with your time. I hope you find this helpful. I would love to know your productivity tips too.

To your continued growth,

Dana Lloyd