Leadership Today
Reflections from Good to Great and Beyond Great, part 17

Last time we used consider a breakout of three aspects of humanity. These three components enter into most all of our problem solving and planning activities. We often engage these three elements in the sequence we mentioned last time, shown here, not always, but normally.

  • Mind—our intellect
  • Heart—our desire
  • Will—our drive to act
Let’s think about how we function in these elements. For example, what part of us is first provoked in the process of considering or deciding something new?
Mind – As humans, our first step is typically with our minds. This should be especially true for people in leadership roles, who have a base of experience and knowledge to pull from.   In the best of circumstances, we begin our decision making with our heads. We think about things, sometimes deeply. 
It is often a reflection of the current reality combined with a creative process of thinking about the possibilities. That is mental work.
Emotion is not absent. In some cases it is emotion that drives us to think and take action. That was probably true in the example we shared a few weeks ago with John Newton as his ship was helplessly tossed at sea—he was face-to-face with the emotion of fear. 
In normal instances, though, the change or transformation begins with thinking. We can see this  modeled when we examine great decision makers around us.  Strong leaders will often engage others in the thinking process, understanding that good thinking around important issues is often a team sport, especially when creativity is desired or required.
Heart – Once we have “thought” about our direction and potential change, another part of us is essential if we are to commit. We use our hearts. At this point it becomes more than an intellectual process. We internalize the change in our core. We cultivate personal beliefs about it, weighing potential impact against our personal and group value systems.
This allows us to check the "rightness" of the solution we are thinking of.
Will – Once we have thought about it and committed with our hearts, it becomes critical to take action. This moves our commitment into tangible processes that enable transformation. Without action, there probably is not transformation.
In transformation, our behaviors reflect the changes operating within us.
This personal transformation involves the whole person. It is critical that we:
  • Think about our choices—what we choose to believe.
  • Search our hearts for what we feel—what we desire, what we believe at our core, what we will commit to.
  • Determine what we will do—how we will behave, how we will lead.
This prepares us to successfully move forward.
It prepares us for the work ahead.
Many thanks,
Larry Meeker
President, Advanced Team Concepts
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