Today's leaders are faced with problem solving opportunities every day - what sets apart average managers from great leaders is the way that they approach them.

Managers generally focus wholeheartedly on the problem, acknowledging, worrying over and discussing the problem to themselves and with others.

Great leaders on the other hand, don't draw attention to problems. They focus on solutions. They express their trust in a vision or plan and they do all that they can to harness the support of the people around them towards the positive goal.

The ability to lead groups of people through change and challenge is rapidly becoming a core requirement of successful leadership. Research on leadership development has shown that leadership is not simply an innate ability of extraordinary people, but is actually the repeated combination of habits, practices and actions ordinary people take to inspire groups of people to achieve extraordinary things.

So what are the habits, practices and actions these leaders take to become expert solution finders? The number one powerful habit that leaders have is reading.

Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders must be readers. Harry S Truman

Reading offers the chance to see the world from someone else's eyes, thus broadening the leader’s mind to other points of view and new possibilities. It is also a great imagination trigger and helps increase creativity.

There is so much knowledge available in the world, why would you try to invent solutions to problems without finding out what others already know? If you ever find yourself stuck for a new idea for a project or have come across a barrier that seems impossible to overcome, all you need to do is read. You may not find the exact answer you are looking for but the very act of reading will open your mind up, improve your concentration and creativity, allows new ideas to come and solutions to show themselves.

Of all the things we can do to improve ourselves and our leadership, reading would have to be the most powerful and inexpensive. CEOs of Fortune 500 companies read an average of four to five books a month.

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go. Dr. Seuss

Reading for just 15 minutes a day, every day for one year can add up to 20 books a year - enough to become an expert in your field. So what are you waiting for? Turn off the television and go read a book.

Author's Bio: 

Coach, author, teacher and entrepreneur, Heidi Alexandra Pollard, The Living Leader's Advocate publishes Value Ad a free monthly ezine for people who want to jump start their personal and professional life to become a living leader. Find out how at