4 min read

Do You Know The Gateway To Exceptional Leadership?

Hint: It involves deep thinking. Let me walk you through the 5 elements of deep thinking, and the 5 steps on how to cultivate deep thinking in leadership.
Do You Know The Gateway To Exceptional Leadership?

In today's fast-paced world, where instant gratification and quick decision-making are often celebrated, the art of deep thinking is becoming increasingly rare. However, its significance and necessity in the realm of effective leadership cannot be overstated.

Deep thinking is not just a cerebral exercise; it's a profound cognitive process that leaders can harness to navigate complexities, make informed decisions, and inspire meaningful change. It involves all the facets of "thinking" from creativity to judgment & problem-solving.

Deep thinking is the summary of what folks experience in my Creative & Innovating Thinking Workshops (still one of my most requested to date). Though they were done virtually during covid - we're back to  live and they are more fun than ever!

Each session starts out with one of my favorite quotes from Martin Luther King, Jr., "Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think."

So the challenge is really 3-fold:

  1. Setting aside the time, (blocking the time as non-negotiable)
  2. Being willing to put in the effort (which tends to be not so much when you do #3)
  3. Learning how to think (effectively using both the conscious & subconscious)

I've been exposed to thousands of leaders over the course of my career and it's rare to run across a leader who does this. So, if you adopt this leadership practice, you will indeed be a distinct leader.

As Peter Drucker shares in The Effective Executive, thinking is an essential part of the work. So, do what most leaders don't do - create and leverage the practice of deep thinking! It is the gateway to nurture and unleash your talent!

What is Deep Thinking?

Deep thinking, also known as reflective thinking or critical thinking, is a cognitive process that involves thorough analysis, contemplation, and exploration of ideas, concepts, and problems. It goes beyond surface-level considerations and shallow reactions, delving deep into the core of issues. Deep thinking requires patience, concentration, and a willingness to engage with complexity.

The Elements of Deep Thinking

  1. Reflection: Deep thinking starts with introspection. Leaders who engage in deep thinking take time to reflect on their experiences, actions, and beliefs. They consider the past to inform the present and shape the future.
  2. Analysis: Deep thinking involves breaking down complex issues into smaller, manageable parts. Leaders analyze data, information, and scenarios to gain a comprehensive understanding of the challenges they face.
  3. Open-Mindedness: Effective leaders are open to diverse perspectives and ideas. Deep thinking encourages leaders to explore different viewpoints, even if they challenge their existing beliefs.
  4. Critical Evaluation: Deep thinking isn't just about gathering information; it's about critically evaluating it. Leaders question assumptions, identify biases, and assess the validity of arguments before making decisions.
  5. Synthesis: After careful analysis and evaluation, deep thinkers synthesize information to form well-rounded conclusions. They connect the dots between seemingly unrelated pieces of information.

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