Getting the best from people means getting their best thinking…

If you are a leader of any sort, you’ll probably be aware that creating and shaping change in uncertain, fluid environments is not only a bit of a challenge; it’s also the invisible ink in your job description. So you have to be able to think for yourself, as yourself, and be able to create the space and the culture where this is true for those around you too.

What does it take for us to think for ourselves – with rigour, imagination, courage and grace?

•Exercising good leadership in these confusing and difficult times is a sophisticated process of articulating a vision compellingly, and getting the best from people so that their work manifests that vision.  

•Getting the best from people means getting their best thinking. This means knowing how to be with people, how to offer them the highest quality attention based on genuine interest in what they think and on the expectation that they can think for themselves better than anyone can think for them.

•Getting the best for people also means knowing how to ask Incisive Questions that deftly remove limiting assumptions and how to acknowledge people’s strengths and achievements—concretely and often. It also means knowing how to build teams and groups whose members routinely treat each other this well.

•Leaders, creating and shaping change at unprecedented rates, have to be able to think for themselves and to set up the conditions in every interaction and in every meeting that will allow people at all levels to think for themselves, too—with rigour, imagination, courage and grace. Creating a Thinking Environment™ is fundamental to good leadership.