Thinking: It’s One of the Most Difficult Tasks We Do

“Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.”
– Edward de Bono

Henry Ford once hired an efficiency expert to go through his plant. Ford directed him to find the nonproductive employees and, he said, “I will fire them!”

When the expert finished his evaluation, he reported to Ford that he was particularly concerned with one of his administrators. “Every time I walked by, he was sitting with his feet propped up on the desk. The man never does a thing. I definitely think you should consider getting rid of him!”

Ford was curious to know who was using company time that way. Then the expert identified him, and Ford shook his head. “I can’t fire him. I pay that man to do nothing but think, and that’s what he’s doing.”

Even in this culture of downsizing, right-sizing, and just plain streamlining operations, no company can afford to lose its thinkers.

Most small to mid-sized companies probably can’t afford to hire a “staff thinker,” but among the larger, and likely the most successful companies, I’ll bet you’ll find someone with a title like strategic planner, researcher, creative engineer, visioner, or some similar version. At Disney, they’re called “imagineers.” (At Microsoft, they’re called “millionaires.”)

“What a job!” you’re thinking right about now. No measurable goals, no restrictive job descriptions, no pressure, because nobody can tell if you’re doing your job. But you must prove yourself over time.

Guess again. Some people get lost in thought because it’s such unfamiliar territory. And then look around your office and see if you can identify the person you’d go to first if you needed a great new plan or idea. There’s the thinker. The job title may not be a tip-off.

Minds are like parachutes — not much good unless they are open.
Source: Harvey Mackay

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