Doing: Deliberative versus Implemental Mindset

Lesson 2: Topic 3 of 14

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Leaders with a deliberative mindset have a heightened receptiveness to all kinds of information as a way to ensure that they think and act as optimally as possible. Leaders with an implemental mindset, as the name suggests, are more focused on implementing decisions, which closes them off to new and different ideas and information.

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Which leader makes better decisions? All other things being equal, that question entirely depends on the resources available and the span of time in which to decide. By holding a more open, deliberative frame of mind, a boss has greater perspective, assuming he or she has the luxury of collecting and processing all pertinent data. Deliberation, though, will be difficult for a person in a position of authority juggling an excruciating number of details and under pressure to act quickly. Sometimes snap decisions must be made, and the implemental mindset is much more comfortable doing so than the deliberative counterpart.

Among your department heads, team leads, and staff, there will be some who are excellent at focusing on details, but have trouble with the big picture. When making decisions, help them to back up their perspective to “see the forest.” On the other hand, those who tend to prefer the implemental mentality might need to be reined in; ask them if they’re certain they’re considering all the options before acting.  

Like the others, there are strengths and weaknesses to both mindsets. As for yourself, which of the two do you lean on most? Do you prefer the big picture of the forest, or do you tend to overfocus on the details of the trees? Don’t be shy about asking for feedback! Invite your boss, mentors, perhaps some trusted staff to give you their perspective. 

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