6 Ways Successful Leaders Think

Only fools plan to fail. Leaders always plan to succeed.

Working on plans is working to anticipate
and nullify reasons for failure.

But, failure happens in spite of plans. There’s more to success than hard work.

The uncomfortable truth is sincere, smart,
hardworking people fail all the time.

Success demands hard work and right thinking.

Learning from failure helps you think right.

Lessons from failure:

Alan Wurtzel, former CEO of Circuit City, spent three years exploring the rise and fall of his company. He offers twelve habits of mind – ways of thinking – as a result. Read them in his new book, “Good to Great to Gone.”

Wurtzel writes: “Habits of Mind are not situation-specific, but ways of thinking about one’s organization in relation to the world in which it exists.” He brings inward thinking together with outward thinking. One without the other is unbalanced foolishness.

Right thinking makes hard work effective.

6 Habits of Mind:

  1. Be Humble; Run Scared. Constantly doubt your understanding of things. Say, “I may not be right.”
  2. Curiosity Sustains the Cat: Answers end curiosity. Keep curiosity alive by saying, “That’s a great answer are there other options?”
  3. Confront the Brutal Facts: If you don’t confront the brutal facts now, they’ll confront you later.
  4. Boldly Follow Through: Big ideas require bold leadership and attract loyal followers.
  5. Mind the Culture: Create a caring and ethical culture where employees can make mistakes without fear of adverse consequences.
  6. Encourage Debate: Encourage and learn from dissent.

There are six more Habits of Mind listed in Wurtzel’s book, “Good to Great to Gone.” Each chapter ends with habits of mind that apply to the rise or fall of Circuit City.

I’m thankful for the conversation I had with Alan and recommend his book.

Which of these habits of mind are your favorites? Why?

What other habits of mind help leaders and organizations succeed?