Getting to the top management positions does not guarantee that the person sitting behind the mahogany desk is well fit to become a leader. Modern staff, especially the young ones with critical thinking know that a good leader is not simply measured from their meeting presentation and speeches. In fact, based on the recent research conducted by Dale Carnegie Training company, today’s leaders are expected to be an enthusiastic, confident person who empowers and inspires. It may be a lot to ask, but not impossible. Below are some of the ways to think differently as a qualified leader.
The first thing is to be curious enough to ask questions or to do the so-called inquisitive thinking. Asking and questioning both the known and the unknown can help someone to learn more and gain more knowledge. As more knowledge is acquired, that person becomes more knowledgeable and competent to see potentials and possibilities, to address problems, and to attain their goals.
Second, when the questions are being answered or ideas and data are being presented by colleagues/business partners, it will be best to listen well. Being a good listener means that you can understand the other’s points of view and get to know the big picture. This will be easier done when you have focused thinking, the kind of thinking process that is not hampered by interruptions and minor insignificant details.
Third, open-mindedness is necessary to allow shared or collaborative thinking. This is especially true for leaders who do not think that they know it all and do not mind not being the smartest person in the company. This kind of leaders like to hire other experts to join the company as they realize collaborating ideas proposed by more than one expert can lead to innovation and the expansion of their own horizons, which enable them to think outside the box.
Fourth, make strategic thinking a routine. Thinking strategically means that you have plans based on the knowledge, expertise and data you have gathered. The modern way of strategic thinking relies heavily on how then continues to what is necessary to be done and the rest (who, where and when). With a set of plans in your head, your actions tend to be purposeful and targeted. This kind of purposeful actions should apply to your staff, too, so nothing they work on is pointless. Keeping all eyes on the company’s objective and staying away from wasting the resources, energy and time are two easy ways to achieve the target faster and more effectively.
Fifth, more often than not, as you come up with a business strategy or plan, another kind of thinking needs to be mastered: risk-oriented thinking. All kinds of businesses have risks. Trying to do an innovative business venture involves even a greater risk. However, a qualified leader would be able to measure the risks, have enough guts to go beyond what people have explored, and equip their company to survive the unknown.
Sixth, be wise enough for reflective thinking practice. Before putting the strategy into actions, take some time to reflect, distance yourself and try to see your action plans through another impartial perspective. This allows you to act professionally, without being emotionally affected and enables you to see and amend the probable flaws or drawbacks in your plan before the actual implementation.
Last but not least, a true qualified leader is not merely a planner, delegator or commander. Instead, they should not mind getting their hands dirty and being there the whole time: from brainstorming ideas, setting the objective, creating strategies and plans, measuring the risks, working out the best execution to reaching the goal in the end.
The best leaders are usually the best thinkers. Start today to learn their habits and cultivate their success.