Comstock's magazine 1118 - November 2018 - Page 65

It’s easy to envision readers being less stressed and more empathetic leaders and overlook the fundamental building blocks of vocabulary, writing and thinking skills. “Reading is the primary means of knowledge acquisition in many domains and is the single largest factor in learning vocabulary,” says Long. “Vocabulary is interesting, because it is the one ability that continues to improve across the lifespan, unlike percep- tion and memory.” Robert French, a senior project manager for Sacramento- based Willdan Engineering, has a goal of reading 24 books a year and found that regardless of topic, “reading has helped my retention, vocabulary and writing skills.” There’s also a halo effect: “The discipline of reading helps in the discipline of work and scheduling,” he says. “It helps me focus when I have to review contracts and technical journals that are normally very hard to get through.” Can books help save lives? That’s perhaps the case for Becky Johnson, a senior manager in PG&E’s Vegetation Management Program. “Our work is critical to keeping the lights on in California and to help protect the public from wildfires,” she explains. Crisp communication is critical, as her team often works in the chaos of storms and emergen- cies. Johnson credits Kim Scott’s Radical Candor with giving her “actionable tools” to be more direct and specific with her feedback, and she instantly applied what she learned, improving her team’s ability to function in emergencies. Johnson reads about 30 books a year — half on a Kindle, half via audiobook. (Whether audiobooks count as reading is a hot debate among booklovers that can bruise feelings and end friendships; it will not be resolved here.) Reading that many books, you’re bound to be exposed to ideas that worm their way into your life and job. “Brené Brown’s Ris- ing Strong reminded me that overcoming any challenge, big or small, requires working through the uncomfortable phases,” Johnson says. “It’s rare to go directly from a prob- lem to a solution.” THE HOW I’d love to read more books, but I don’t have the time, says everyone. Books are the first things on our calendar’s chop- ping block. It’s easy to say “Read more,” but how do you ac- tually do it? French reads during lunch breaks, and then for about an hour before bed. “If the book is really engaging, I might try and squeeze in a few minutes during the day, like waiting for a meeting to start,” he says. Kimmel Construction Inc. and Nicols Melburg & Rosetto are proud to have partnered with Feather River Tribal Health Inc. on the new Wellness Center. The new 16,115 SF facility will provide a wide range of health services to the greater Oroville community. 10 Main Ave. #2 Sacramento, CA 95838 | 916.927.3118 November 2018 | comstocksmag.com 65