It has to do with their ability to think decisively.
The best leaders evaluate their options, weigh in on the alternatives, connect the dots, and look for potential in order to make informed decisions.
Here are some of the things great critical thinkers make a habit of:
Leading with questions. Open-ended questions, in particular, help you get to the heart of the matter. Start with Why?, How?, What?, and Where?
Embracing different points of view. As a leader, you need to be able to take advantage of the diversity in your team (and board, if you have one) to help you see things from different perspectives. The best leaders see and make use of the insights that everyone has to offer. They honor different opinions and ideas, because they know those differences lead to better decisions.
Leading with agility. As the old saying goes, the only constant is change—and the variables are always shifting and adjusting. Leading through change requires an open mind that can see opportunity in every situation.
Keeping an open mind. In the complex world of business, a leader with an open mind will find potential by sizing up all the answers, holding on to differences of opinion, and taking in all the variables to see clearly.
The leader who thinks critically and manages ambiguity will be the one who leads where others cannot.
Lead From Within: Be the leader who knows that nothing is as it seems. There is always uncertainty; there is always ambiguity. Be clever enough to size things up, connect the dots, see the potential, and act decisively when no one else can.
[box]Lolly Daskal is the president and founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive coaching and customized leadership programs. Connect with Lolly Daskal [/box]
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.