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Think Critically

Think Critically

Following conventional wisdom eventually leads to loss of competitive advantage. Critical thinkers question everything. To master this:

  • Reframe problems to get to the roots of it
  • Challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own
  • Uncover hypocrisy, manipulation, and bias in organizational decisions

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE

As your company grows, you have to actively seek honest feedback. To get that:

  • Encourage and exemplify honest, rigorous debriefs to extract lessons
  • Shift course quickly if you realize you're off track
  • Celebrate both successes and (well-intentioned) failures that ...

Most companies only focus on what’s directly ahead. This can leave your company vulnerable to rivals who detect and act on ambiguous signals. To anticipate well:

  • Look for game-changing information at the periphery of your industry
  • Search beyond the current boundaries of ...

You have to develop processes and enforce them to arrive at a “good enough” position. To do that well:

  • Carefully frame the decision to get to the crux of the matter
  • Balance speed, rigor, quality, and agility. Leave perfection to higher powers
  • Take a stand even wi...

A strategic leader must foster open dialogue, build trust, and engage key stakeholders, especially when views diverge. To pull that off:

  • Understand what drives other people's agendas
  • Bring tough issues to the surface, however uncomfortable
  • Assess risk tolerance a...

A good strategic leader holds steady, synthesizing information from many sources before developing a viewpoint. To do this well:

  • Seek patterns in multiple sources of data
  • Encourage others to do the same
  • Question prevailing assumptions and test multiple hypotheses si...

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David Collis - Harvard Business School professor

“Most executives cannot articulate the objective, scope, and advantage of their business in a simple statement. If they can’t, neither can anyone else.”

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Identify political players

We all start out naively assuming that all business leaders make decisions based wholly on fact and merit. 

The first challenge is to develop your "political sensitivity"--observe and ask questions about how things are done in your business, where the power ba...

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Jack Welch

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

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