6 Thinking Principles to Excel your Leadership (Pt. 2)

In the first part of Thinking Principles to Excel your Leadership we discussed priority thinking, strategic thinking, and future thinking. Below are the 3 other principles that will excel you toward success. When reading these principles keep in mind the words of George Bernard Shaw who said, “Few people think more than two or three times a year. I’ve made an international reputation for thinking once or twice a week.”

1. The principle of deep thinking

This is when you take time to really dig into and think about an idea or thought.  This goes along with priority thinking because deep thinking requires you to focus in on one specific area or topic. Deep thinking allows you to think through a thought until you have a clear understanding of it. Those who want to master a craft or skill can benefit from taking time to think deeply on the specific topic or area. When a leader takes time to think this way they come away with insights and golden nuggets of wisdom.

2. The principle of big thinking

Thinking big can raise your confidence and imagination. Taking time to think bigger or outside of your normal thoughts or imagination allows you to raise your perspective of what you can do and achieve. Legendary Steve Jobs is a perfect example of a big thinker. He turned Apple into a successful company because of his big thinking and ability to create innovative products.

Donald Trump Said, “I like thinking big. If you’re going to be thinking anything, you might as well think big.” When a leader takes time to engage in thinking big they will see an increase of imagination and have a clear picture of what they have the potential to accomplish. To excel your team or organization forward requires thinking big.

3. The principle of executing your thinking

Leaders who invest in thinking at some point must execute or act on their thinking. After thinking you must find a place to land your thoughts. The landing space might include: during a meeting, when you’re problem solving, through your writing or blogging, on social media, to your team members, or in your decision making. Great benefits come to a leader who thinks and then implements thinking into their everyday life.

Questions: Which of these three thinking principles do you need to work on the most? Can you add to the list?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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39 thoughts on “6 Thinking Principles to Excel your Leadership (Pt. 2)

  1. I think number two is where I need to improve. Number three, not so much because once I have the plan I execute and perform very well. Often times, I find myself thinking too small and I end up completing all these small tasks that never amount to a big one. I wish life was filled with small bubbles and all you had to do was create numerous small ones, hoping they bump and create a large one. Sadly that’s not true most of the time!

    With that said, I suppose number one needs work as well.

  2. Deep thinking is just plain fun. I’ve got that one down pat.

    Big thinking is more difficult. It doesn’t come naturally to me. To an extent, thinking big requires stepping out of humbleness. It means contemplating ideas in which my initial thought tends to be, “Who am I to dream so big?”

    But thinking big is a requirement for accomplishing anything worthwhile. We help no one when we limit ourselves to our own small preconceptions.

    To overcome this, I constantly tell myself, “Overreach and you’ll never underachieve.” I’d rather take that leap and fall flat on my face, than to never leap at all. I’ve been there . . . and I won’t be going back.


    • Great self awareness and self talk. That’s important to have in order to become and stay successful.
      I totally agree with you about leaping and thinking big. Glad to have you apart of this community. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Deep thinking is the one I need to work on. I really can’t remember the last time I just say for 30 minutes or so and just thought about stuff.

    On the other hand, I have ideas floating around all the time. I’ll usually capture them with evernote and come back to them later on. 1of 3 things will happen. 1) I’ll wonder what I was even talking about when I wrote it 2) I’ll consider it more and flush it out 3) scrap it.

    Thanks for sharing Dan, insightful as always!

  4. For most of my life I’ve naturally tried to be a big thinker and then executing them. The deep thinking has come around later for me in life and when I do think deep into any subject on earth, I come back and up to one thing; God… He is omnipotent and present. He supplies the perpetual motion of this cosmos and the very air to all of us. He is the Alphan and Omega and now I try to make that the way I think from beginning to end… and I don’t mean to over simplify a unfathomable subject… It’s just the way I think these days.

    • Floyd,

      I see your thinking through your writing and word (when we meet). Relying on God is so important no matter what thinking we are doing, He should be in the center of our life and thinking. Thank you for your input.

  5. I have always been a deep thinker and sometimes a big thinker. Nowadays I think long. Is that on the list? I donut think long without taking action. I think long about longterm projects while I take action on other thoughts. Long thinking?

  6. I probably need to work on that last one – executing my thinking! I love the first one – deep thinking. I do this when I study the Bible and it really helps me get a lot out of Scripture. I read a passage and then just spend some time thinking about it. I get so much more out of the passage that way.

    If I do deep thinking about regular life, sometimes I get caught in a circular trap of wrong thinking – at that point I have to bring my thoughts captive to the truth so I don’t get discouraged. But I can see that deep thinking, the way you describe it would be very effective in working on a project – I’ll have to try it.

    • Barb,

      Your deep thinking really shows in your writing. I also really like reading and reflecting on a specific passage. God speaks so much to me when I do it.

      I hope you do engage in deep thinking, I hope it helps:)

      Thank you for reading and adding your insights.

  7. I was listening to Earl Nightingale and he mentions thinking and that you should do it daily. Just sit down with your journal for about an hour a day and write down ideas of how you can improve whatever it is that you do. This is such an important skill that is overlooked. I need to continue to work on Execution of my thinking because it means you are putting those thoughts into action. I am working on that now.

    • Great points, I also need to work on executing my ideas and thoughts. Another person who thinks and teaches people to think on a daily basis is John Maxwell. Both Earl and John are examples of the power of thinking. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  8. My dad was a dreamer. He liked to think BIG! And he had the faith and determination to implement his dreams. He inspires me think Big and not doubt God to complete what He began.

  9. Deep thinking and I go way back. I thrive on going deep. However, it’s the turning thoughts into action that I get hung up on. That has changed some over the last couple of years, as I have challenged myself through goal setting to take some of those thoughts and move them into the execution side. It’s great to consider big ideas, but they mean nothing if they remain stuck in your head. As a side note, The Magic of Thinking Big is a fantastic book that hits on this topic.

    • Chris,

      Goal setting is a great way to turn thinking into action. I think everyone should read The Magic of Thinking Big. Thank you for reading and sharing your insights.

  10. The third point is the key. You can think and dream big, but the rubber meets the road happens when you put those thoughts and dreams in action. The people that make things happen are the ones that implement their big thoughts.

  11. I need to do more “executing” – going beyond the thinking. I recently heard Darren Hardy interviewing Jeff Hazelett who said “Think big – Act bigger.” Good stuff Dan!

  12. I think big thinking is the tough part for me. It’s easy for me to have big goals and big God-sized dreams but then slowly morph that into smaller, more bite-sized goals that end up not being very big at all.

    • Do you have any ideas of how to change that?

      I have to constantly remind myself to take small steps toward my big goals and dreams. I get to overwhelmed if I think about all the steps or taking big ones at one time. I know if I make the right and good choice each day then over time it will lead me toward achieving some great things.

  13. I would add non-directed thinking. My passion is how the brain impacts leadership and neuroscientists are discovering that lots of time we solve problems when we aren’t actively trying to solve them. The “answer came to me while in the shower” is fact based. So, when we are stuck, it’s good to get away from intense thinking when we hit a wall–do something fun, distracting, etc. and then get back to the problem.

    • That’s a great addition Charles. Since that’s the case it shows the importance of feeding our mind and thoughts with good ideas and content. So those moments happen more frequently due to what we are consuming and thinking about. Thank you for adding to the discussion.