The Habit of Thinking Effectively

images-4We are talking about important habits that leaders need to have.  They don’t always get these in school and most, if not all, are not born with them.  These are habits that take focus and commitment, trial and error, blood and sweat to develop into the natural reactions they will need as good leaders

This habit is an easy one to let slide because everything today demands that it all happen fast.  We communicate fast.  We meet fast.  We even walk fast.  We don’t have time to always get it right. Many operate on the motto: Make a decision, any decision and we can always change it later.

So, let me suggest a habit that you can work on for the next 21 days that will help address this issue, and make you a better leader.

Important habit #6…THINK ‘EFFECTIVE’

First, let’s figure out what that means.  Effective (adj.) is when the leader has created a solution that is adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.

That basically means that every time you make a decision, you need to make sure that it will bring about the results you are expecting.  The decision-making process may slow down, but you won’t have to redo a plan as often as you do when you rush a decision.  In the long run that will save you time and energy.  It will make your people see you as a good decision maker and planer.  It will reduce the decisions in front of you.

On every decision, at every meeting, for the next 21 days you need to ask “Are we being effective?”

You can ask it about the time spent.  You can ask it about resources.  You can ask it about the process.  But, for the next 21 days, let’s focus on the end result.

There are three basic questions you will need to discuss after each decision.  You may want to do this at the end of every meeting to help others develop this habit.

1. Ask: Is this solution the best solution or did we take the easy way out? Did we look at all sides or were we manipulated? Is there something better we could have done?

2. Ask: How much of a positive impact did this action have today?  Was it worth the time necessary? How do we feel about our decision?  How do we feel about those involved in the decision?  Will the end result really be good for the organization?

3. Also ask: How much negative impact was avoided because of the actions we took?  What potential problems did we dodge with this decision?

Being effective.  Wow!  A leader who focuses on being effective will change the world!


Dr. Ron Cline helps build the body of Christ around the world. His background as a pastor, educator, counselor, missionary and author gives him credibility and rapport with the many groups and individuals he and his wife, Barbara, minister to in various countries each year. After 7 years of pastoral ministry in Southern California, and ten years as the Dean at Azusa Pacific University, the Clines’ international service began in 1976 as a short-term opportunity when he agreed to pastor the English Fellowship Church in Quito, Ecuador for two years. Those two years stretched into six years. Following that he served as the president of HCJB World Radio, also in Ecuador, for 20 years. HCJB Global, now Reach Beyond, has media, health care, community and/or leadership development ministries in Latin America, Europe, Russia, North Africa/Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia Pacific. Ron and Barb currently serve as Global Ambassadors with Reach Beyond and live in Southern California after living 30 years abroad. They travel from Southern California throughout the world. For the last ten years they have been encouraging, coaching and working with leaders in Indonesia, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Western Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, America Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, Central Asia, USA, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Ecuador, Russia, Malawi, Ivory Coast and South Africa.

Posted in Leadership Coaching, Personal Leadership


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