Critical Thinking and Strategy:

The Foundations of an Effective Leader

  • Possessing an innovation mindset. Most of a leader’s ability to problem-solve and plan strategically will come from his or her ability to come up with creative solutions to age-old problems.
  • Understanding raw data and how it affects the team / department / company.
  • The ability to balance short-term and long-term decisions with their forward momentum.
  • Your understanding of trends, signs, and red flags. You know those fires you have to put out every day? Odds are, there were signs that those things would go wrong. On a grander scale, there are also signs that things are not well within your team, your department, your company. Noticing signs like technical glitches, decreased sales, gaining competition, etc. will help you notice and plan for what is actually happening and will happen down the road.
  • Flexibility and delegation. As a leader or executive, you cannot do everything or lead every charge that moves your company forward. You have to be willing to try something new, let someone else take the reins, and most of all, be willing to try again in a different way if it doesn’t go as planned. Fluidity in leadership means you can slip past brick walls that other people crash into.

Carl is a business psychologist and leadership development expert who focuses on the development of high performance leaders.

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