By Gerald A. Kraines, M.D., Chairman and CEO
One of Dr. Harry Levinson’s most popular books was called Ready, Fire, Aim: Avoiding Management by Impulse. His thesis was that leaders, constantly bombarded with demands and crises, rarely take the time to reflect on what is going on around them. They feel the pressure to act, to do, to make problems just go away. Yet, if a leader does not take the time to understand and take proper aim when attacking problems, he or she rarely hits the target successfully.
So how can beleaguered executives and managers find their way back to thoroughly understand the situations they are confronted with?
- First, they need to care about solving the problems right the first time.
- They must be willing to reflect on what people are saying and listen to the “melody” behind the words, not just the words.
- Then, they need to enhance the assumptions and mental models they have spent a lifetime constructing to account for why people (themselves included) behave the way they do and make the kinds of decisions they make.
- Finally, they must take the time to reflect on the meanings of what is occurring and needs to be addressed.
In the following article, Dr. Gregory Stebbins does a terrific job of describing simply how any manager (or any person, for that matter) can step out of the surrounding torrent of distractions in order to clear his or her mind. Morpheus said to Neo in The Matrix, “You have to let it all go, Neo. Fear, doubt, and disbelief. Free your mind.” This very simple technique can be applied at any time and almost anywhere. It has long been proven that musing and letting one’s mind wander is the best catalyst for creative, innovative, and inspired thinking. Click here to read the full article.
Over the last 50 years, The Levinson Institute has perfected its process for helping over 45,000 executives and managers enhance their personal leadership wisdom and effectiveness. However, to put all of that capability to good use, executives and managers must take the time to reflect before taking aim.