…but I can't comprehend it for you.” As we continue to explore the value of soft skills critical to being effective 21st Century Leaders, our discussion turns to one of the most sought after, yet least available soft skills: Critical Thinking. While many definitions exist for critical thinking, they all rally around the concept of objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment. In this world of short attention spans and social media driven opinions and assumptions, a leader’s ability to objectively analyze and evaluate the myriad of situations and decisions they face daily makes the title quote by former New York City Mayor Ed Koch all the more relevant! When we dig deeper into the construct of critical thinking, we find several key attitudes and skills necessary for 21st Century Leaders to make the right decisions for the sustainable success of their organizations. From my own experience in a variety of industries and organizations, the three questions to ask to ensure as much objectivity as possible are:
Effective leadership counts on the leader’s ability to repeatedly make the best decisions for the organizations they lead. The ability to think critically is the foundation for those decisions being effective or not. There are plenty of people in business willing to tell you what to do in any given situation. What they can't tell you is how to do it well because your situation is unique to the variables surrounding it. Therefore, followers count on their leader to be well-read, logical and discerning with the decisions that support the organization’s sustainable success! How are you objectively addressing your next key business decision? Lead Well!
Critical thinking, and discernment beyond surface level information, are hallmarks of stellar leadership. Thank you for calling attention to this all important life skill, as it seems to get glossed over all too often these days.
Thanks so much for your reply. We have to stop settling for responses based on opinion and pure emotion and ask the questions that flush out the ground truth behind making the right decisions.