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Outstanding leadership is a combination of many qualities. However, as businesses and markets evolve, leaders need to develop with them. Increasing productivity begins with increasing your leadership capacity.

Leaders rely on their experience. Quite often, they’ve been through a lot and seen it all. But in the race to add new skills, are leaders ignoring the most critical tool for improving their stewardship: how they think about approaching challenges.

Deep thinking is an important quality of good leadership. Here are a few ways you can develop this valuable quality and increase your leadership capacity.

Embrace tension

Problems crop up every day. Solving them is a mark of strong leadership. However, diving headfirst into solutions isn’t always the optimal play.

Instead, leaders should ask questions about the problems they face, such as:

  • How did we get here?
  • What lessons have we learned?
  • What elements are causing us tension?

Not all problems are simply something that needs to be fixed; they’re also a learning opportunity. Workplace issues do need to be addressed, but not before you mine them for valuable lessons.

Prioritize deeper understanding

Many people judge outstanding leadership by the ability to act swiftly. While this is an important characteristic, thinking and listening are other valuable traits.

Next time you are faced with a problem, measure how quickly you start to solve it. Are you listening to everyone? Are you gaining a greater understanding of the problem before you begin to implement actions?

Great leadership is about being able to listen and understand problems fully. Again, ensure you are getting feedback from your entire team that you can then build into your decision-making.

Accept different perspectives

We all know the world isn’t black and white. But when it comes to leadership, some nuance can get lost due to time constraints and pressure to be decisive, despite our best intentions.

One way to combat these inefficiencies is to seek the counsel of your team. Make decision-making a more collaborative process so you can get more perspectives.

Challenge your thinking by encouraging other perspectives and input from people with different backgrounds. While you need to trust your instincts, it’s worth supplementing them with other voices.

Build a team with diverse perspectives

A big part of leadership is building teams that can pull in the same direction. Having everyone on the same page is key to increasing productivity. However, that shouldn’t be at the cost of a diversity of thinking.

Any leadership team can benefit from diverse thinking and backgrounds. When we have a broader pool of viewpoints, we can gain better insights and understanding and even unlock new perspectives.

Use your inner dialogue to grow as a leader

One of the most powerful ways to increase our leadership capacity is through our inner dialogue. Change and growth require a lot of work that begins within the individual.

All leaders need to do a lot of reflection on how they think about the world. Additionally, we should be mindful and intentional in how we engage with others.

Reflecting on who we are is essential, especially for leaders. So listen to your thoughts and question what drives them. You might be able to learn a lot about yourself.

Reach out

Markets and businesses are in constant flux. Methods and strategies that worked in the past can quickly go out of fashion, leaving leadership teams behind the curve.

Teams interested in increasing productivity in a constantly evolving world need to do the work to develop and grow their thinking. If you need help adapting your leadership to contemporary demands, get in touch today to see how we can help.