I’ve been discussing ‘Reading’ for the past few days. I am so passionate about this subject because I know and have experienced firsthand the difference it can make in your leadership journey. I want to commend to you the study of biographies, among other things in your development as a leader.

The Study of Biographies

The study of other lives mould character like nothing else does. Every great man you see took after someone. Biographies are passive mentors. God knew this so He gave us the Bible – a library of biographical accounts of God walking with men and women. The books of Genesis, Daniel, Jonah, Esther, First and Second Samuel are biographical, for example. The gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – are biographies of Jesus. In fact, Jesus said, “Search the Scriptures…these are they which testify of Me.”(John 5:39) Meaning “you can get My life story there.” (John 21:25)

There are some four (4) major benefits I have derived over the years in studying biographies:

(I) INSPIRATION: When you rub minds with great men, you become great too. (Proverbs 13:20) When you’re not inspired, you expire! Oswald J. Smith, great missionary statesman and author of numerous classics wrote in his autobiography, The Story of My Life: “It would be impossible for me to tell of the blessing received through the reading of biography. I studied the lives of some of God’s choicest saints, both missionaries and evangelists, and received wonderful inspiration and help.”

(II) WISDOM: The reading of biographies imparts wisdom. It was Sir Isaac Newton that said, “If I’ve seen any farther, I’ve done so by standing on the shoulder of giants.” When I read the life stories of great men, I learn from their mistakes lest I repeat it, from their trials so I know how to surmount mine. Their struggles inspire me. I learnt a long time ago that wise men learn from history. Fools repeat it! Biographies help me to not be a fool.

(III) CHALLENGE: Success is generic. It could be duplicated, replicated and perpetuated. Biographies challenge me out of mediocrity, inspiring me to break out of the box of limitations.

(IV) IMPARTATION OF GRACE: Books, so much more biographies are passive mentors. You catch the spirit of an author when you rub minds with him/her. That has been my experience. John Calvin was influenced by the writings of Martin Luther. Kenneth E. Hagin took after E. W. Kenyon and P. C. Nelson. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a student of Fabian politics. Lenin studied Hitler’s writings. Information leads to impartation. I am sure in your experience you will find it so if not yet. And if there’s something else I’m missing here, let’s hear it! YOU WILL SUCCEED! (Excerpts from the book, READERS AND LEADERS by Yomi Olufiade)


About Yomi Olufiade

My passion, dear friend, is to help you find, follow and fulfill God’s purpose for your life. Not only that, I also want to help you achieve tremendous success with your God-ideas and assignment through this medium via the life-changing truths of the Word of God. I’m sure you won’t remain the same again after interacting with me.

Posted on December 1, 2011, in Books & Reading, Leadership, Mind, Personal Development, Quotes, Reading, Spiritual Growth, Success and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Sir,I must say this is a first class lesson .thank you for bringing this my way.you are a gift to our generation.

  2. Thanks for the Article, its my third time visiting your blog and must say it is very interesting hope to check back soon.

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