Run your thinking through a process

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

It’s tempting to face the unfamiliar head-on, but you have to think it through.

Here’s how:

  • Understand deeply. Be brutally honest with yourself about what you know and don’t know. Try to let go of preconceived notions. You need rock-solid understanding to succeed.
  • Raise questions. Clarify and extend your understanding.
  • Follow ideas. Look back to see where ideas came from, and look ahead to see where they may lead. Even small ideas can lead to big payoffs.
  • Make mistakes. They will happen, so go ahead. Mistakes can be great ­teachers. Let them show you the way.
  • Change. It’s the last and most im­­portant. By changing how you think and learn, you can improve, grow and get the most out of your role as a leader.

— Adapted from The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, Edward Burger and Michael Starbird, Princeton University Press.

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