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Thinking like a Leader

Politics and Governance

Thinking like a Leader

When looking at the issues of leadership, it is always advisable to take a cue from the best teachers. Here, we look at how the world’s top leadership coach, John Maxwell treats ‘Thinking like a Leader’.

LEADERS THINK BIG: Nothing hurts a leader like small thinking. When you’re at the top of the decision ladder, you need to bring your A-game to every situation. Pushing the envelope with creativity and vision is essential for a leader. 

The reason is simple: everyone else will try and talk your ideas down. And that’s good – you need people on your team who will challenge you and reign you in. But that means it’s your job to think big so that the ideas you settle on aren’t too small. 

Big thinking isn’t reckless thinking either. It’s just big. You are responsible for the big picture, and big picture thinking by nature cannot be small – otherwise, we’d call it small picture thinking. 

Reality still must come into play, but that doesn’t mean you can’t define a new, larger reality to chase. 

LEADERS THINK OTHERS FIRST: leadership is about serving others. That means leaders should make other people a priority in their decision making. Leaders want more for others, even before they know to want it themselves. Leaders see more than others, not just in terms of strategy and vision, but in terms of seeing potential and talent in the people around you. 

So, it’s only natural that leaders think more and before others – and think a lot about those others in the process. You should be thinking about how to grow your people and encourage them to grow themselves. You should be thinking about which people have leadership potential and how you can develop that within your organization. 

You should be thinking about which people solve problems, take initiative, and add value to the mission so you can move faster, go farther, and do more. And you should be thinking about other ways you can add value to people as their leader. Because without other people, you’re not a leader – you’re just a person with a mission looking for a team. 

LEADERS ACT WITH FOCUS: The last thing I want to say about thinking like a leader is that leadership requires focus. That’s because a leader rarely has two consecutive good days on the job, which means a leader has to be intentional about the job and be intentional while acting on the job.

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