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Internal Audit Leaders Must Be Readers (part 1 of 3)

2 tips to increase & improve the quality of your reading

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In a recent Harvard Business Review article John Coleman states that “deep, broad reading habits are often a defining characteristic of our greatest leaders and can catalyze insight, innovation, empathy and personal effectiveness”.  He also details the direct benefits of reading, including:

  • Increased intelligence
  • Making you a “more adept and articulate communicator
  • Stress relief.  One study indicated that 6 minutes of reading reduced stress by 68%

Internal Auditors can benefit as follows:

  • Internal Auditors must have a general knowledge of a wide range of subjects.  Therefore, reading to increase knowledge, awareness and intelligence is to the benefit of any serious professional auditor.
  • Communication is a core competency for success as an auditor.  If reading improves communication, then of course auditor should be reading more.
  • Finally, the audit profession is very stressful.  Think about, no one really wants to see you coming and everyone is happy when you’re leaving.  It can be a stressful and lonely existence.  Why not read to reduce some stress.

However, the National Endowment for the Arts has found that “reading has declined among every group of adult Americans,” and for the first time in American history, “less than half of the U.S. adult American population is reading literature.”  The decline is partially attributed to lack of time and information overload.  So how can you find the time to read is this fast paced world?

Tip #1 – Let the stories come to you.
Who has time to search for articles?  There are tools that will bring relevant material to you.

Tip #2 – Read some now, save some for later.
There are also tools that will save and store news articles for later reading.

Do you read enough?  How have you benefited from continuous reading?

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Do you read enough to obtain new knowledge?

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This is part 1 of a 3 part series on the importance of reading for internal auditing professionals.  Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 as they will provide tools to help improve reading along with some good sources of reading material.

Part 1 focuses on the importance of reading

Part 2 describes some tools to help you read more with limited time
(coming soon)

Part 3 outlines some good resources for reading material for internal audit professionals
(coming soon)

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References

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/08/for_those_who_want_to_lead_rea.html

http://www.csub.edu/ah/AH_matter/importanceofreading.pdf

 

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Robert Berry (88)

Robert (That Audit Guy) Berry is a risk, compliance and auditing advocate, educator and innovator. He helps good professionals become better by creating articles, web services and training that allow them to expand their knowledge network.

3 thoughts on “Internal Audit Leaders Must Be Readers (part 1 of 3)

  1. I’d be curious how many of those that read regularly actually read broad enough to truly spark innovation. To often when I talk to auditors, their idea of reading regularly involves reading the periodicals for their industry and for their profession. And while these two are essential to stay abreast of your field, they are not enough for innovation. Some of your best ideas will come from other fields.

    1. Tiffany. Very good point. I read a lot of audit related material, but I also read Psychology Today, Harvard Business Review, fiction novels, public speaking material, etc. A lot of outside sources have really helped with audit work.

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