The apostle Paul once said, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” Paul’s reflection clearly reveals how the process of a person’s thinking can evolve.

As your responsibilities evolve from following to leading, from technician to manager, your thoughts should evolve as well. It is a good practice when advancing to a new level of responsibility to ask yourself, “What type of thinking should I be employing on this new level?” A good leader is constantly striving to put off outdated and inappropriate ideas replacing them with fresh and progressive ones.

Exactly how does a leader think? Here are just five principles that guide the thoughts of many leaders:

  1. Leaders think with laser focus but global perspective.
  2. Leaders think in the “now” for long-term results.
  3. Leaders think without the constraint of boundaries.
  4. Leaders think primarily for the benefit and welfare of others.
  5. Leaders think retrospectively about the results and effects of past thoughts in order to formulate more effective thoughts.

In the words of the old proverb, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.”

Michael McFadden is a leadership & performance expert, speaker and author.

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