- A few of us have an idea that was carefully crafted by our frontal cortex after hours or weeks or months of analysis.
- Some of us had a spark of creativity that lead to thinking about an idea.
- A lot of us have an idea/thought that generated itself from an action by someone else and we moved on it.
In either case, thinking is what generated the idea or action. But when you pull back and consider the actions you usually take, did you really think through them?
The book Paid To Think by David Goldsmith posits that leaders need to be thinkers too! What!? Imagine that... I particularly liked his rif on the Pareto principle (80% of gains are generated by 20% of the effort - 80/20 rule). Goldsmith argues that many times our Systems and Structures generate 80% of the gains with 20% of the people being valuable, and the leaders are a subset of the people. He goes on to ask, what if you lost your computer and access to all data for a month? In other words, your systems were down. You'd do what then? Goldsmith says, THINK! Perhaps you could think through a way to improve your systems, so you computer doesn't go down!
Goldsmith's principles go far beyond the business world. In our daily lives, can we truly measure the value of thinking before we act/speak? I'm so guilty of this, that it pains me! Just THINK about the simple actions that could brighten someone's day? I mean, what if you truly thought of that when you acted out each moment? Would that make your life better or more challenging? Not that you have to change the outcome of their direction in life, just make it happier when around you. Thinking does this.