Thinking Like Einstein - Deepstash

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Why the ‘paradox mindset’ is the key to success

Thinking Like Einstein

Thinking Like Einstein

Reflecting on apparent contradictions can break down our assumptions and offer us new ways of looking at problems.

Psychiatrist Albert Rothenberg noted that each revolutionary thinker had spent time actively thinking of multiple opposites simultaneously. For example, Einstein considered how an object could be both at rest and moving depending on the position of the observer. This led to his relativity theory.

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The paradox mindset

To adopt a paradox mindset means to consider the world with a “both/and” approach instead of an “either/or” one.

In times of change, uncertainty and scarcity, we need to do...

A paradox mindset can be cultivated

A simple framework to cultivate the paradox mindset :

  • Reframe the situation you're facing. When considering tensions, think in terms of enhancement and enrichment.
  • Accept the tension and develop comfort with the discomfort. With a paradox mindset, acceptance allows for the understanding that these tensions are a natural part of reality, and that we all experience them to a certain extent.
  • Distance yourself and search for new possibilities. We can try to distance ourselves from the problem and connect with others to get a different perspective
The Stockdale Paradox
The Stockdale Paradox

The ability to acknowledge your situation and balance optimism with realism.

 "You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose —...

Peter Drucker

"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things."

Peter Drucker
Change Leadership Styles

Sometimes a teammate needs a warm hug. Sometimes the team needs a visionary, a new style of coaching, someone to lead the way or even, on occasion, a kick in the bike shorts. 

For that reason, great leaders choose their leadership style like a golfer chooses his or her club, with a calculated analysis of the matter at hand, the end goal and the best tool for the job.

Daniel Goleman’s leadership styles
  1. Pacesetting leader - “Do as I do, now”: expects and models excellence and self-direction. 
  2. Authoritative leader - “Come with me”: mobilizes the team toward a common vision.
  3. Affiliative leader - “People come first”:  works to create emotional bonds that bring a feeling of belonging.
  4. Coaching leader - "Try this": develops people for the future.
  5. Coercive leader - “Do what I tell you”: demands immediate compliance.
  6. Democratic leader - “What do you think?": builds consensus through participation.