Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Letting go


I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power. Learning and gaining knowledge is a passion of mine. One of my favorite quotes is by Eric Hoffer: “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.”

There are so many great books, articles, blogs, newspapers and other sources of knowledge that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. During the past year the pile of books I want to read has been growing much faster than what I’ve been able to read.

Letting goI recently signed up for a speed reading course with Abundant Reading Systems. I’m about half way through the course and I’m already seeing improvements. My instructor, David Hinton, continues to press us to “let go” of comprehension while we learn techniques to increase our speed. That’s a difficult thing for me because understanding what I read is incredibly important to me. I’m finding, however, that as I let go at higher speeds (10-15k words per minute) I can comprehend much better when I slow down (1-2k wpm). Letting go is ultimately helping me to hang on.

It’s the same way in leadership settings. We cannot make other people do things we want them to do. We can lead with persuasion, by example, or with an iron fist, but we cannot force people to do what they do not want to do. Next time you find yourself in a situation where somebody will not do what you want them to, try letting go and see how things end up.

5 thoughts on “Letting go

  1. Interesting note!

    I have no clue about speed reading but it will be worth trying. Does this mean that you can finish a book in hours instead of weeks?

  2. That’s certainly my goal. I’m still learning and and trying to master the techniques, but despite the frustration (at times) I am confident that I will get the point where I can comfortably read a book a day.

    There’s so much out there to learn! The faster we can take it in the better.

  3. Keep at it Mike, I read three books during a brief Thanksgiving trip with my family, and got more from them than I used to the slow way. David is truly an expert at this stuff.

  4. Pingback: Great books « Lead on Purpose

  5. Pingback: Flexibility and letting go « Lead on Purpose

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