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Here are 5 quick things I have learned when it comes to the thinking aspect of being a leader. I recognise this may not come easy to everyone but I have discovered the importance of the thinking the process, and how much it is an essential aspect of leadership which every leader must embrace.
To not think things through could be seen as ignorant, maybe lazy, perhaps a little dangerous.
Create Space. For me I have to be deliberate and block out time, even to the point of putting it in the diary as an appointment sometimes.
Learn they way which works for you. I like a clear desk and a pile of clean sheets of paper and then I am ready to go on the journey of thinking, noting down thoughts, questions, ideas which I can come back to later. To an observer it may seem like a curious process but I have learned over the years what works for me.
Honest Reflection. We have to be willing to ask the more difficult questions. It’s not about what I think is right for me but rather what is right for what or who I am leading, to which there is a subtle difference.
Good sounding boards. My personality is more introvert and therefore I naturally lean to sitting on my own to work things through. However, that is not the best kind of leadership. Getting the right people around me can help take my own good thoughts and make them even better. Plus it is good to be able to ask someone else who you trust and who shares the same vision, values and heart as you, ‘what do you think?’
Time with God. I can have great thoughts but what I really want are Gods thoughts. All of the above are only as useful as it is to make time to hear from God, what does He think, how is He wanting to lead and direct me. One of my favourite scriptures is from Proverbs 16:9 ‘A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps’.
There are benefits to thinking things through properly, none so more powerful than just not looking like you haven’t really thought about it. People are not always keen to follow a leader who doesn’t seem to care or give them confidence of any thought or preparation.
Thinking things through builds trust. It creates a greater sense of team, if we involve them too in the thinking process. It shares responsibility too. It reveals how much you actually care about who or what it is you are leading.
Why not take some time this week and create your own thinking plan. Think about how you will make time to think. I guarantee it will be worth it, for you and for your teams.
Any other suggestions in regard to this idea of leadership and thinking?