The bible says, “Study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). It is not enough to want to do God’s work. To achieve set goals, one must be willing to study and work hard. Your starting point is less important than your commitment to learning and practicing. Commitment is required for growth. But how hard do you have to work? How much studying is required? On that point, we can draw wisdom from Warren Buffett.
Todd Combs, an investment lieutenant at Berkshire Hathaway, got great advice the first time he encountered his current boss, Warren Buffett, in 2000, the year he started his MBA at Columbia Business School. The Oracle of Omaha was speaking to Combs and 165 other students during an investing class. In response to a question about how to prepare for an investing career, Buffett told the students, “Read 500 pages like this every day,” while reaching toward a stack of manuals and papers. “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.”
This is excellent advice for preparing for a career in leadership or functioning at higher levels of life. To become the successful entrepreneur, governor, or pastor of your dreams, you must read far more than you may believe. Todd Combs took the advice to heart. As he began his investing career, he read even more, sometimes hitting up to 1,000 pages a day. 500 pages per day could take up to 8 hours. However, this is a small price to pay for the impact God can make through you. You will be able to build capacity to watch over your world as your knowledge grows and compounds.