Few people think more than two or three times a year. I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once or twice a week. – Charles Bernard Shaw
A good friend of mine likes to say that there are three types of people: Those who think, but don’t act, those who act, but don’t think and a very small percentage who think both before and after they act.
I urge you to join the ranks of the latter. These are the “reflective thinkers” among us, and they usually make great coaches, managers and leaders.
Thomas J. Watson, who founded IBM, was once asked to identify his number one leadership principle. He answered in one word: “Think!” Albert Einstein put it this way: “Remember to set aside time each day to think and dream for yourself.”
It all sounds so obvious, but both men are reminding us that reflective thinking is not just an art, it’s a muscle: you must either use it, or you lose it. A great way to exercise your reflective thinking and leadership muscles is to simply form the daily habit of asking yourself some basic questions:
- Did I wake up and greet the day?
- Did I celebrate being alive?
- Did I change something for the better?
- Did I make good decisions today? (If not, why not?)
- Did I stand up for someone or something?
- Did I take a chance on something I believe in?
- Did I write down at least one new idea?
- Did I review my most important lifetime dreams and goals?
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