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Tuesday Reading: Developing a Practice, One Tuesday at a Time

| April 11, 2023

by MOR Associates

[Today’s Tuesday Reading is from Sean McDonald, President of MOR Associates. Sean may be reached at [email protected] or on LinkedIn.]

On Friday we celebrated this Tuesday Reading practice and Jim Bruce, its originator. Through a collective effort, the 800+ Tuesday Readings over the past 18 years were culled down to 100 and compiled into a Tuesday Readings book.  About twenty of us gathered in person and another dozen or so via Zoom, a mix of MOR team members, clients, and Jim’s family, to recognize Jim and have him sign some of the books. There was so much to recognize.  In a career spanning well over half a century, Jim has impacted many leaders in many ways, with those leaders then having an expanding ripple of impact to further generations of leaders.  It was a special event, and it was a good reason and person to celebrate.
December 7, 2004, was the date of Jim’s first Tuesday Reading. A seemingly simple practice, a sincere attempt at supporting the ongoing leadership development of the people involved in Jim’s first MOR Leaders Program, then called ITLP. He would research and curate leadership insight and draft a brief note on Tuesdays. It would serve as a steady drum beat of reminders and supports for our ongoing leadership journeys. I suspect about 30 people were on the very first Tuesday Reading list. Today, the list is at about 5,000. 
Over the years Jim has authored about 70% of these Tuesday Readings, and though he does less of that now, this is a practice he carefully crafted over the years that we now intentionally model and chose to continue. The feedback we receive about the Tuesday Readings is very positive. The data suggests that on average the open rate is 45%. I am told for a newsletter, that is exceptionally high. It is also worth noting that in any given week, it is also forwarded to about 2,500 additional recipients. 
The Tuesday Readings are a great example of developing a habit.  A simple practice, leveraging the cue of a day in the week, Tuesdays, to follow the process of sending a carefully crafted leadership related insight post, with the reward of helping us all be better leaders. It is a wonderful example of practice formation and starting something small.  As Jim wrote in the introduction to the book:
Originally, I wrote these essays to help new leaders as they began their leadership journeys.  Soon it became obvious that they were also valuable to more experienced leaders as well.  My hope is that no matter where you are in your leadership journey, you will find them to be a helpful guide to your future.  Best wishes on your journey! – Jim Bruce
You can access the repository of Tuesday Readings on the MOR website.  Topics include presence, relationships, creating an inclusive environment, influence, strategy, change, results, and much more.  Some of our favorites of Jim’s essays over the years include Revolutionary Relationships, his compendiums of commencement speech wisdom (2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016), his three part series on neuroscience and change (one, two, and three), and his addressing of imposter phenomenon.
The first single Tuesday Reading alone did not have grand impact, but month after month, year after year, collectively over 18 years, a Tuesday Reading has now been received over a million times. 
As you think about supporting the development of those around you, what small practice could you start today? 
Thank you for your readership. We are grateful to be linked to your ongoing leadership journey.  We welcome hearing what the Tuesday Readings has inspired for you over the years, please share with us at [email protected]

Special thanks to Dan Chin for the artwork of Jim Bruce featured above.