To Be a Good Leader, Think Like One

Written by Jamie

Topics: Leadership

Our dominant thoughts often determine the direction in which we move. Buddha said it more succinctly: “What we think, we become.” And so to be a good leader, you must think like one.

In business, leadership involves having a clear vision of your company’s direction in addition to having the ability to communicate that vision to inspire others and make it happen. Mediocre leadership often comes from becoming derailed from this purpose or getting bogged down in the day-to-day details of the business. While many different styles of leadership exist, good leaders possess in common certain ways of thinking.

Think big. Big picture, that is. Leave the day-to-day operations to your managers and supervisors. Focus instead on how everything fits together and interacts with the external environment in which you operate. To do this, it helps to spend some time with employees in all the different functional areas of the company, until you really understand what they do and how they feel about it.

Trust your intuition. Intuition is the rapid, unconscious processing of all your past experiences to reach a conclusion. If you are knowledgeable about your business, and well-prepared, this kind of thinking will serve you well. Data analysis and the advice of others are useful, but when these kinds of information point in confusing or multiple directions, in the end the leader must make a decision. This is where intuition is invaluable.

Think strategically. Strategic thinkers consider actions in terms of how they will help the company adapt and succeed over the long term. As just one example, rather than automatically buying services or materials from the lowest priced supplier, a strategic thinker will consider a variety of factors, such as each supplier’s reliability, responsiveness, speed of delivery, willingness to do the little extras, and so forth.

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About the Author

Tandem Partners, the organizational consulting group of MKS&H

© 2010 McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond


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