In order to think like a leader, you must be proactive. Consider these six thought processes to help you become a better leader.
Think Like A Leader: Thought Processes
- Explorative Thought
- Comparative Thought
- Predictive Thought
- Creative Thought
- Deliberative Thought
- Interactive Thought
It is increasingly rare to find a thinking leader in most organizations today. Why is that? Why don’t those in management positions dedicate more time to think like a leader?
I believe it is because most managers have casually allowed themselves to become professional reactors. They have become knee-jerk decision makers if you will. Whether out of habit or necessity, managers spend an inordinate amount of their time each day hastily reacting to various situations that arise on their watch.
Don’t get me wrong: Reacting is not new. It is not always bad. And, I understand working this way is sometimes necessary. But, you must also be aware that reactive behavior is the antithesis of preventive leadership.
Preventive leadership is supported by focused thought and careful consideration of those things that might one day break a follower’s will, desire, or commitment. If a leader can unearth such frequently hidden information–by thinking the right thoughts and asking the right questions–such a leader may take proactive measures to correct the problem before it becomes full-blown.
6 Thought Processes to Help You Think Like A Leader
Explorative Thought–Asking Why?
The explorative thought form requires that leaders attempt to better understand their followers’ needs while creating a rational, even predictable order to the environment around them.
Comparative Thought–Asking Why Not?
Leaders who employ the comparative thought approach take the why question to a higher, more advanced level. A why not leadership attitude doesn’t just have the potential to produce a more creative work environment, it may also provide encouragement for continuous personal and professional growth and improvement, because it consistently challenges the established norm.
Predictive Thought–Asking When?
Predictive thought embraces a somewhat more scientific approach than the other two processes discussed so far. This approach requires leaders to collect and use analytical information, thereby enabling them to draw on such information for the future.
Creative Thought–Asking What If?
What-if questions are most effective when presented in a nonthreatening environment, where no commitment to do anything is immediately required–thus making it possible. This kind of creative thought can provide a welcome break from the monotony of our normal reactionary tendencies. If you want to think like a leader, you must make time for creative thought.
Deliberative Thought–Asking How?
Let’s face it: Attempting to act on every what-if question wouldn’t lead to consistently prudent leadership decisions. The truth is that some ideas are good, and some simply aren’t–and leaders need a practical way to distinguish between the two. This is what makes the how question so important for leaders to be dedicating time to consider.
Interactive Thought–Asking What Do You Think?
Taking the time and making the effort to ask followers what they truly think–with a genuine desire to know the answers–mentally and emotionally engages both individuals and teams. Engaged followers typically means you will get better results from them. Therefore, in order to think like a leader, you must dedicate time to interactive thought.
Get the full discussion on each of these six thought processes here: Leaders Ought To Know: 11 Ground Rules for Common Sense Leadership
The Best Leaders — Think First
The best managers think like a leader. They are focused on careful thought and consideration of those things that might one day break a follower’s will, desire, or commitment. Most importantly, if a leader can unearth such frequently hidden information — by thinking the right thoughts and asking the right questions–such a leader may take proactive measures to correct the problem before it becomes full-blown. The best-of-the-best leaders prevent problems and therefore drive results through their followers.
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