“Work on Purpose, Play on Purpose, Rest on Purpose. Do not let yourself or anyone else waste your time.” – Izey Victoria Odiase
Quality leaders entertain quality thoughts
Quality thinking distinguishes good leaders from the rest. Any good Psychologist will tell you that a change in our quality of life begins with a change in our quality of thinking. It’s the quality of thought that produces the quality of work. Good leaders get things done because of their “can-do” mindset. Good leaders instinctively think intentionally and do so consistently.
Most people would agree that we all have a purpose in life yet, so many do not live their lives on purpose. We realize our hopes and dreams by quality, purposeful thinking, which produces high-quality, intentional behaviors designed to align us with our life purpose.
John Rohn writes, “How much will an ant gather during the summer to prepare for the winter? All he possibly can. Ants don’t have quotas or “good enough” philosophies. They don’t gather a certain amount and then head back to the hole to hang out. If an ant can do more, it does. What an incredible philosophy, the “all-you-possibly-can” philosophy.” It is this “all-you-possibly-can” thought life that sets good leaders apart.
Good leaders skillfully handle difficult situations because they skillfully handle themselves, controlling what and how they think. There exists a synergy between intellect, motivation, creativity, and social skills to a high degree among many Good leaders. A vital ingredient present in Good thinking relational leaders is a high degree of emotional intelligence.
Good leaders have a high level of self-awareness and think quality thoughts that are rooted in reality. Understanding themselves and people in general, they tend to be self-motivating and capable of motivating others.
Quality Leaders Demonstrate Emotional Intelligence
“Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people.” (1)
Quality Leaders Are Motivating
Psychologist Daniel Goleman says, “Great leaders move us. They ignite our passion and inspire the best in us. When we try to explain why they are so effective, we speak of strategy, vision, or powerful ideas. But the reality is much more primal: Great leadership works through the emotions.” (2)
Quality Leaders Think Intentionally
“If you’re going to grow, you have to be intentional.” – Curt Kampmeier
Just like the ant owes its success to its consistent “all-you-possibly-can” instinct, so too good leaders intentionally entertain an “abundance mindset.” On intentionally focused thinking, Maxwell elaborates, “It means eliminating excuses and distractions… Every leader knows what it means to be overwhelmed—to have more problems or possibilities than you know how to handle.
Overwhelm is normal, and intentional thinking is the best antidote. Nothing combats too many ideas like focusing on one or two, just like nothing destroys a creative block like jotting down as many ideas as possible.” It takes intentional thinking to harness quality thoughts and form them into a plan.
Twelve Intentional Considerations for Quality Leaders
Daniel Goleman lists some main components Quality leaders excel in:
• Self-awareness: observing yourself and recognizing your feelings; building a vocabulary for feelings; knowing the relationship between thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
• Personal decision-making: examining your actions and knowing their consequences; knowing if thought or feeling is ruling a decision; applying these insights to issues such as sex and drugs.
• Managing feelings: monitoring “self-talk” to catch negative messages such as internal put-downs; realizing what is behind a feeling (e.g., the hurt that underlies anger); finding ways to handle fears and anxieties, anger, and sadness.
• Handling stress: learning the value of exercise, guided imagery, relaxation methods.
• Empathy: understanding others’ feelings and concerns and taking their perspective; appreciating the differences in how people feel about things.
• Communications: talking about feelings effectively: becoming a good listener and question-asker; distinguishing between what someone does or says and your own reactions or judgments about it; sending “I” messages instead of blame.
• Self-disclosure: valuing openness and building trust in a relationship; knowing when it’s safe to risk talking about your private feelings.
• Insight: identifying patterns in your emotional life and reactions; recognizing similar patterns in others.
• Self-acceptance: feeling pride and seeing yourself in a positive light; recognizing your strengths and weaknesses; being able to laugh at yourself.
• Personal responsibility: taking responsibility; recognizing the consequences of your decisions and actions, accepting your feelings and moods, following through on commitments (e.g., to studying).
• Assertiveness: stating your concerns and feelings without anger or passivity.
• Group dynamics: cooperation; knowing when and how to lead, when to follow. (3)
“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” – Marcus Aurelius
(1) Psychology Today – Emotional Intelligence https://goo.gl/nFdWUM
(2) Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
(3) Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition by Daniel Goleman (Appendix E the Self Science Curriculum)