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How To Write From The Heart: You’ve Got The Words To Change A Nation

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How To Write From The Heart

Writing is one of the best ways to connect with other people and become influential. The art of writing will always be timeless no matter how many people think that bite-sized content will take over – it won’t. It’s easy just to write but writing from the heart is very different.

My writing career started when I was in high school, and my teachers kept telling me I was a brilliant writer. I never believed them and still don’t believe I am very good at it. With that aside, I chose to keep writing because people are inspired by my words and it’s a medium that has worked thus far.

In the future, I will be doing more videos and public speaking, but writing will always be there. Even with videos and public speaking you are still required to write the content so the art of putting words together in a meaningful way is a valuable skill.

Timeless Book Written From The HeartAs the years went on I stopped writing for a long time but I still was knocking out convincing emails each day, so I never actually gave up. Then, a few years back I began blogging, and that’s when I taught myself how to write from the heart.

The second part of the title for this article comes out of a song. The phrase “You’ve got the words to change a nation,” is one of the mantras I live my life by. Words truly do have the power to change a nation, and you should use them for good. You should use words in everything you do to inspire others and add value to people’s lives. You should use words to live your purpose.

Even if you have no aspiration for blogging or social media, writing is still important because a habit that will help you in life is journaling. The habit of writing in a journal is followed by many of the greats such as Oprah and Tony Robbins. Either way, learning to write from the heart is a must.

So, below are my top 8 tips on how you too can write from the heart and change your nation at the same time:

 

1. Write when you’re full of emotion

The easiest way to write from the heart is when you’re having a day or period of time when you are full of emotion. For me, this can either be a really sad state, or a point in time when I am experiencing the phenomena known as “flow.”

In deep emotional states, words flow out of you and are naturally tainted with emotion from your heart. Writing can be a great way to release negative emotions or multiply positive emotions. In these writing states, you should aim to eliminate perfection and not worry about spelling or what you’re writing.

The key for me has been to just let the words flow out of me and then go back and edit them later – that’s how you capture raw emotion. The rawer the emotion is in your writing; the more heartfelt the words on the page will be to your reader. Practice this enough and you will have a large audience.

It’s not always possible to be near a suitable space to write like your office. What I do as a simple hack is to write down phrases or ideas when I am experiencing these particular emotional states. Ideally, you want to finish the writing while you’re still in the state; otherwise, I have found that when you come back to it later, the emotion is gone from the topic you were writing about.

 

2. Forget about how many shares you get

This point is particularly relevant in the age of social media that we are now in. The temptation (I have it too) is to write something, post it online, and then actually give a damn about how many people share your post.

This habitual way of approaching your writing will cause you all sorts of problems, and it will guarantee you that you don’t write from the heart.

“Other people can’t determine your success; you must determine it yourself and your writing’s purpose should be to serve others”

There are so many things that effect how many shares a written post will get on the various social media platforms such as time of day, the country the article is focused towards, the current topics in the news, who reads it, and finally, the platforms you post it on – forget about the number of shares!

 

3. Concentrate on passion filled topics

To write from the heart requires you to write about something you’re passionate about. Your heart, your passion, and your emotions are very closely linked to each other. For me, I find writing about entrepreneurship and personal development is the best way for me to write from the heart.

The reason these two fields help me write from the heart is because they are deeply personal in their own individual ways. Entrepreneurship translates for me to family, success, money won and money lost, pain, pleasure, etc.

Personal development translates for me to mean; a tool that turned my life around, my appreciation for Tony Robbins, the device that transformed me in business, my passion, my network of friends, and finally, me being on Addicted2Success with all of you. See writing from the heart and using your passion go much deeper than you think. For me, they go as deep as the depths of the ocean.

 

4. Crank up the vulnerability

If you want to not only write from the heart but change your nation at the same time then, your writing needs to be 100% vulnerable. Why? The reason is because so much of the world is based on hype and things that are not real. When you are vulnerable, you naturally write from the heart.

Being vulnerable in writing and in life is not very common. People listen when you’re vulnerable, and you speak what you believe to be the truth. Vulnerability can create immense power, and it’s that power that you can use to change your nation.

I have demonstrated this one quite a few times on our site when I have spoken about my health issues, my mortality, the anxiety I used to suffer, and my imperfections as illustrated by others. Each time I am vulnerable I am writing from the heart with the goal of helping others. I would love you to try this approach in your own life and watch the success come flooding in like a tidal wave.

 

5. Include inspiration as much as possible

When you endeavor to include inspiration in some form in your writing, you automatically write from the heart. The way you go even further is you include action points after the inspirational points in your writing.

The reason for this is that the impact people will get from your inspirational points will not be reached to the maximum if you don’t write in some action points. Inspiration is meaningless without action that follows. Inspiration almost always leads to positive change, and I think that’s what everyone should aim for.

“In the end, what will cause your writing to change a nation will be how much you can inspire and motivate everyone that reads your message” – Tim Denning

 

6. Be you

You will never write from the heart if you don’t be you. Being you involves you not writing in a way that makes your brain think about how others will perceive your words. Everyone is going to get a different meaning from your words so just concentrate on pouring in emotion and being you.

The easiest way I find to be me in my writing is to include some personal stories here and there, which highlight my message in a way that only I can do. Writing styles, topics, blogs and content can easily be copied, but copying how you do you is impossible, so that’s your best chance at writing from the heart.

 

7. Give everything you have

To be successful at writing from the heart, it’s crucial to give everything you have in your writing. Then, when you think you have given everything, reach down and try and give some more. Just like in life, the more you give, the more success you will achieve.

The way I give everything is that I take every bit of advice and learning that I get from my daily life, and chunk it down for you into simple bite-sized points. I ensure I do this regularly and make the writing as compelling as I can so you can get the benefits of the lessons I am sharing.

All of us can be a New York Times best Selling Author if we give everything we have and write from the heart.

 

8. Get into a high energy writing state

The final point to writing from the heart is to make sure your mind is in the right state. When you’re burnt out or tired, it’s hard to reach down and write from the heart. Any form of proper writing requires energy and so what I recommend is to inspire yourself before any block of writing.

The way I change my state before I begin to write is firstly by having a shower. Showers help clear my mind and relax me. I then do ten mins of exercise to get the blood moving (trampolines work best for me). The next step is to make a nice herbal tea (caffeine free tea) and sit down for 30 minutes and read a personal development book – I’m currently reading “The Law Of Success.”

The last step to getting into a high-energy writing state is to watch a motivational YouTube video. I find just typing the word motivation into YouTube gives the best results.

 

***Final Thought***

For those that want to take writing from the heart or even living from the heart further, here is an exercise I learned from Tony Robbins recently:

Step One – Turn on some emotional classical music from YouTube
Step Two – Put one hand on your heart and close your eyes
Step Three – For two minutes, think of three things you are grateful for

This exercise will help you connect with your heart and will bring all sorts of emotions out. It’s a great way to prepare for writing something that has the power to change a nation.

Are you able to write from the heart? Do you think words can change a nation? Let me know in the comments section below or on my website timdenning.net or my Facebook.

Tim is best known as a long-time contributor on Addicted2Success. Tim's content has been shared hundreds of thousands of times and he has written multiple viral posts all around success, personal development, motivation, and entrepreneurship. During the day Tim works with the most iconic tech companies in the world, as an adviser, to assist them in expanding into Australia. By night, Tim coaches his students on the principles of personal development and the fundamentals of entrepreneurship. You can connect with Tim through his website www.timdenning.net or through his Facebook.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Barbie

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I truly enjoyed reading this post. It’s a good reminder than we shouldn’t always be writing for ‘keywords’ or praise but to touch, move, connect with and inspire others through our own personal experiences and wisdom.

  2. Bill Holmes

    May 28, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Thanks so much for writing this article, Tim. I can relate to all eight points, especially writing from your emotion and being vulnerable. I have a difficult time writing from emotion despite the fact I always encourage others to do so. Perhaps it’s time for me to heed my own advice.

    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and look forward to reading more of your work. Have an awesome day.

    • Tim Denning

      May 30, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Bill. Writing from a place of emotion can be hard but hopefully my tips have shown you how I do it. Best of luck with your work and stay in touch!

  3. Angelo Drake

    May 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    The point I enjoyed the most was ‘getting into the right state’.

    I totally agree that if your head isn’t right, it’s just not going to work.

    Here is what I do to get my head in the place it needs to be to write emotionally.

    1. Listen to Eckhart Tolle. His meditative talks can be found on youtube or his website eckhartolle.com. I find that he always clams me down and puts the best perspective on things.

    2. Do some exercise whilst listening to motivational speeches on youtube. This pumps me up tremendously whilst I make physiological changes to my body. I tend to work out with gymnastics rings whilst these guys shout at me “GET UP, WAKE UP, GIVE IT YOUR ALL”.

    3. Listen to beautiful music. I often type beautiful soundtracks into youtube and let its flow in the background.

    Thanks for a top article Tim 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      May 25, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      Thanks so much for the tips Angelo. I will have to go and listen to some of Eckhart’s work as I have never listened to his stuff before. I will also try your YouTube tips. Appreciate the practical advice.

  4. Toño

    May 25, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Beautiful article, Tim. Enjoying it while reading and replying to you. I also loved to use writing skills at school, as well as literature and languages (Russian & English) and teachers were pleased with me. My writing career, so to speak, started with a girl. I found a fiction story she published in the magazine and sent her an email. We started our communication via email and soon met in person. That was my first love story haha. I have been written countless amount of emails, we were both obsessed with the idea. It was kind of silly and perhaps childish, but we were kids and that’s how I’ve got my writing practice 🙂

    I like that you mentioned ‘flow’ phenomena. I actually use it as much as possible and always reply to you when I’m in it. With your full description of it I will take more notes and use this hack as well, it seems like a very good one. I used to collect quotes from famous people and from books I’ve read. Similar thing that helps you memorize and give you a good habit.

    I also like this sentence so much: ‘Writing can be a great way to release negative emotions or multiply positive emotions.’ It appears that writing can be a cure and your best doctor in so many cases, it will transform your negative energy and you will be like alchemist who turns dirt into gold, which is simply magical.

    And you know what? I am going to write article for my sister’s website which is about vegan food recipes and possibly in the future about vegan lifestyle in general. Your tips are wonderful and I feel you have been writing them being in ‘flow’. Also, superb advice from Tony Robbins, gonna use it for inspiration and gratitude! And I like your own preparation, I think I will try it as well 😉

    Much love for this article, my friend, hugely appreacite your knowledge and always lookin’ and waitin’ for more. Thank you Tim!

    ps: You can read about the wizards who used words to cast a spell; well it still works today, you just have to charge your words with passion, emotions and speak from the heart – there goes modern day magic!

    • Tim Denning

      May 25, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Toño thank you so much! I think we have all had a love story or two that started out via email, or in my case, a handwritten note which was the fashion when I was in primary school….lol. The state of flow is very interesting and I have spent a lot of time trying to understand it as best as I can. It’s one of the most powerful headspaces to write from.

      Writing down quotes is a good way to summarize certain parts of a book. I have a similar practice where I highlight good quotes in my kindle as I read a book. Often these quotes will then get used in articles later on. One of the best things I found with blogging is that it helps to reinforce the same lessons I’m teaching. Every time I include a quote, that quote then goes one level deeper into my own brain. Then, when I face a difficult challenge, I have the strategies already buried inside of me so I have no excuse not to be positive.

      Best of luck my friend with writing for your sisters vegan website!

  5. Rob Malone

    May 24, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Awesome post. I really like the idea of getting in touch with your emotions before you write and then just let it rip. Being vulnerable is huge and also can be be very intimidating.

    You really have to be comfortable with your faults to through them out their on the internet. Many people are afraid to show their imperfections or to put their true-self out there for fear of being ridiculed or judged. However the more authentic you are the more compassion you receive.

    Thanks for sharing Tim

    • Tim Denning

      May 25, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Rob thanks for reading. Your summary is spot on and you’ve captured the most important points. I for one and very comfortable with my faults 🙂

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Success Advice

If You’re Looking for Success, Here Are 5 Ways to Find It

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looking for success

What do people want when they talk about being successful? Some of us might want things such as a yacht, private island, or a jet. Others want to feel like they belong and have great relationships with their family and loved ones.

We end up wanting things without knowing exactly why. We end up creating images in our heads of what it would be like to own these things, to have these relationships, to live these lives, but we casually ignore the negative things that are bound to challenge us along the way.

Even if we end up building these lives for ourselves, we forget that all life comes with suffering, and anyone who experiences great success will also have moments of frustration and perceived failure.

Here are 5 ways to find success right here, right now, as you continue on the path towards building your empire:

1. Excavate before you begin building

Just as you wouldn’t build a skyscraper before excavating deeply underground the construction site and setting the foundation, you wouldn’t start to develop the foundation for a successful life without first understanding where you come from and what drives you. Dig deep to understand what core truths truly motivate you and what you really care about before you start building yourself up. A career built on a shaky foundation will never stand the test of time.

2. Create a strong network

The Pando is a tree colony on the border between Colorado and Utah. What makes the Pando unique is that it is thought to be one contiguous organism, with a combined underground root network covering over 100 acres. The Pando is thought to be the world’s heaviest living organism, and one of the oldest at over 80,000 years old.

Consider what the journey towards success would be without a strong network. Without security and a strong foundation, you won’t be able to weather the storm when inevitable challenges come your way on the path to great success. In order to be truly successful, you must also be willing to share your victories and your defeats with others.

This isn’t about finding fair weather friends who are happy for you when you have a great accomplishment and disappear in times of trouble. You need to build this strong network and ecosystem which will support you in times of need and through times of plenty.

“Effective networking isn’t a result of luck – it requires hard work and persistence.” – Lewis Howes

3. Strengthen your monkey mind

Take responsibility for the habits you choose to strengthen and cultivate, and be ruthless with the habits you choose to cut out. The Basal Ganglia is the part of the brain responsible for the development of habits, while the Prefrontal Cortex is the part of the brain responsible for complex decision making and thought processes.

The Basal Ganglia is effectively the less developed, most basic part of the brain. This “monkey mind” must be strengthened by building strong habits if you want to teach your subconscious to focus on the right things at the right times.

4. Shoot for the moon

As the saying goes, “shoot for the moon, so you’ll land among the stars.” I honestly hate this saying, as I think it is incredibly corny, but it illustrates the point well. If you aim for a big goal, you will be more likely to reach some level of success and acclaim no matter what happens.

What the saying misses is the amount of planning and preparation that goes into “shooting for the moon”. When John F Kennedy announced his plan to land a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s, he set the United States on a road to investing more on a single project than at any other time in human history.

The combined efforts and finances of the most powerful nation on earth all went into making sure the mission would be a success, and as a result humanity came together to accomplish something magnificent.

So, when you’re aiming for something big, don’t half ass it, make a bold announcement, loop in your supporters, and try to change the world. Sometimes when you aim big, you’ll be surprised by who jumps in to lend a hand.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – Les Brown

5. Make your heart sing

One of the most important factors that defines true success is the ability to do something on a regular basis that brings you joy. While your job won’t always be interesting, and all things done with regularity become monotonous, you should strive to find what makes your heart sing about the work you do and the world in which you live.

Only if you are able to tap into what makes your heart truly sing will you be able to call yourself a success in your daily life. Don’t ask yourself what you love about your job, or even what made you first get interested in your line of work. Instead, ask yourself, what about your current role makes your heart sing.

If you don’t know how to answer that question, perhaps you should go back to step one and start excavating your foundation.

How are you making sure you achieve success this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

5 Neuroplasticity Exercises the Top 3% of the Happy and Successful Do

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Neuroplasticity Exercises

Neuroplasticity means you will no more have to wake up each morning with the dread of having to start a new day of which you already know the outcome. For decades, it’s been the same routine, you get up with negative feelings that your day will turnout just like the day before full of stress and discontent.

Whether it’s concerning your job/career, a relationship, finances, or health, you just know everything will go against you no matter what you do. You may have fallen into the trap of having a fixed mindset where you think your abilities to learn and accomplish more in your life are limited.

The truth is you may have limitations, but you can still envision better solutions. Your brain is ready and willing to go the extra mile to learn how to solve all the issues your facing in life but it’s that doubt, worry, and fear that continually creeps into the thought pattern which acts as the action killer.

Neuroplasticity isn’t some kind of new Play-Doh for kids, it’s the power your brain has to rejuvenate and create the life you want. Neuroplasticity – or brain plasticity – is the brain’s ability to modify its connections or rewire itself. Without this ability, any brain, not just the human brain, would be unable to develop from infancy through to adulthood. It has now been proven the brain continues to learn and rejuvenate itself as new data is received and stored.

You may say, “You’re just wired to be unhappy.” or “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” That’s the beliefs and train of thought our culture has today due to our primitive and out of date educational system along with the big corporation’s ideology.

“Brain plasticity is a two-way street. It’s just as easy to generate negative changes as positive ones.”

Here’s the eye-opening truth, you can change and rewire your brain for happiness and success We have habits that turn into beliefs which distort our perceptions of life and the world around us. Habits are strong persuaders to your actions in familiar areas of life so, when you disrupt those habits it sends the brain into a little chaos until change takes place.

That’s fantastic news because if we can create habits that distort our brain, we can also create habits that reveal and rejuvenate clear precise solutions to our challenging issues. So, how do you start retraining your brain for happiness and success?

Start changing habits to increase brain power with these proven neuroplasticity builders below:

1. Aerobic Exercises

A 60-minute intense workout gives the best results but just in case you’re not a fitness addict, taking a leisure stroll through the park will light up different parts of your brain and aid with neuroplasticity.

2. Reading a good book

If you hate sitting down and taking the time to read a good book or magazine, that’s fantastic because doing things you don’t like and are different stimulate your neurons to the max.

3. Playing games

It can be challenging on the brain to try and figure out all the winning strategies to become the champion in a board game. Nonetheless, these will really get the old brain juices flowing.

4. Anything out of the ordinary

Doing something out of the ordinary will trigger the brain plasticity you’re looking for. Things as simple as brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. If your right-handed start brushing with the left or vise-versa.

Learning is thought to be “neuro-protective.” Through neuroplasticity, learning increases connections between neurons, increases cellular metabolism, and increases the production of nerve growth factor, a substance produced by the body to help maintain and repair neurons.”

“Neuroplasticity provides us with a brain that can adapt not only to changes inflicted by damage, but allows adaptation to any and all experiences and changes we may encounter.”

5. Smile

Smiling starts your day off with a BANG and can give those brain cells of yours an extra boost anytime anywhere. It’s like taking a shot of super juice to overcome the stress, worry, and frustrations during the day.

In the mornings when you open those big beautiful sexy eyes of yours put on a smile from ear to ear on your face. This will trigger your brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.

Dopamine is classified as the happy chemical in neuroscience which has the ability to create a state of euphoria throughout your entire body in a matter of seconds. It vanquishes the feeling of stress, worry, and frustration immediately. The great thing is dopamine works every single time and it doesn’t matter if the smile is genuine or fake because the brain can’t distinguish the difference.

The bad thing is statistics show, adults only put a SMILE on their face an average of 4 times a day compared to child who SMILES an average of 400 times a day. If you want to rewire your brain for happiness and success while defusing stress, worry, and frustrations in your life daily it may be wise to start following the examples of our children.

Above are some exciting proven avenues to invigorate neuroplasticity to your brain functions and start living and loving life to the fullest on your own terms.

Would love to hear about your personal exercises being used to rejuvenate your brain for happiness and success in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Success Advice

The 3 C’s of Leadership That Determines Your Success

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leadership

Have you caught the seasonal flu or a common cold this winter season? If so, you likely received advice to drink a glass of orange juice for the benefits associated with consuming Vitamin C. To repair an immune system that has been weakened by the common cold or flu, Vitamin C can provide the body with nutrition that can expedite recovery time. When it comes to exhibiting positive leadership behaviors there exists three qualities that also begin with the letter “C” and are helpful.  

To receive the Vitamin C’s of leadership, you must start with a desire to improve. One camp might endorse that you find mentorship from a senior colleague. Another person or group may recommend that you spend more time reading articles or books discussing leadership experiences and advice. With either point of origin, it can open a path to growth and improvement as a leader. However, you chose to proceed with the second inquiry which is why you are here!

We often believe that leadership is a cumbersome and daunting process. It can be difficult, but if we are strategic about cultivating a few characteristics, the mountain to positive impact is a little more feasible to climb. From school teachers and administrators to business executives and their employees, I have found that all great leaders possess a minimum of three dominant characteristics.

These three dominant features can provide an individual with the strength to continue during the difficult times that often accompany leadership; they are similar to the Vitamin C that can make you feel better when battling a cold or the flu.

Enough already, what are the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success? See below:

1. Confidence

Leaders believe in themselves and the people they serve. This positive self-awareness or confidence that effective leaders have, often radiates in every aspect of their work from communication with others to informed decisions. One strategy you can use to develop confidence is the commitment to being the first one to speak during a meeting or class. Successful leaders are willing to express themselves in a variety of capacities, even when they may possess less common viewpoints or modes of behavior.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

2. Competency

Building on the importance of confidence, effective leadership is about being able to create a personal development plan that consistently encourages you to improve. Some of the most revered leaders in our society, strategically make time to read daily. Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey are two of the most common examples of this relentless thirst for knowledge.

They have committed to life-long learning that continues, despite reaching nearly every financial and business goal possible. To become more competent, you can create a schedule that allows for the investment in activities such as reading articles and books to stay informed.

3. Charisma

You might call it SWAG or a gift, but the ability to attract other people who support you and your work are essential. It is not necessary to resemble a supermodel to get people to like you, but you do need to carry yourself with a certain level of pride to effectively encourage others to follow your advice and instructions.

Charisma is a byproduct of possessing confidence in yourself to serve as a useful leader. You can build more charisma in your life, by being more mindful to genuinely listen and respond to your colleagues, family, and friends in conversations. Don’t allow yourself to become intimidated by the responsibilities that can come with the roles of a leader.

“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

In many cases, you would not be in the position to earn followers without the necessary qualifications or skill set. Excelling in leadership is possible for you when you are consistent with tapping into the power of the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success.

Confidence, Competency, and Charisma can offer a bountiful number of resources to serve others in authoritative roles of professional and personal environments. Confident leaders believe in themselves, their products, and their services. Competent leaders commit to a lifetime of learning. Charismatic leaders make use of their confidence to attract other people who can support the vision of a group or individual. With the engagement of consistent activities and the reinforcement from positive examples of leadership, nothing is impossible for you to achieve!

How do you display confidence, competency, and charisma on a daily basis with people? Let us know your advice below!

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Success Advice

10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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design thinking leadership

Leadership is a challenging proposition in a world of disruptions and changes due to the rate of change being overwhelming. How do leaders cope with constant changes, enormous expectations and an unpredictable future? Well, a lot of the top organisations including Pepsi, Nike, Apple and Google use Design Thinking for leadership matters.

Design thinking is coming up with visual patterns that lead to the desired solutions. In other words, it is about connecting the dots to come up with solutions to practical problems that you want to solve. The Design thinking approach is widely appreciated and adopted by leaders around the globe.

Below, we look at 10 intriguing leadership lessons from design thinking:

1. Solution Focused Approach

Design thinking helps leaders to develop a solution centric mindset. The emphasis is on identifying and defining the core problem and then arriving at the best solution. Corporates and teams are looking for leaders who have a solution focused approach. The best leaders understand that they create value by offering solutions to complex problems. They resolve conflicts, solve problems and relish the idea of making the difference.

2. Connect the Dots

Leaders need to look at the complete picture for connecting and correlating things. Design thinking provides visualisation of the problem, constraints, desired solution and complete picture of things. It is a great way leaders can visualise abstract concepts. Leaders can use visual mapping of the assumptions, constraints, existing state and the goal state to align their teams in the right direction.

3. Empathy & Inclusiveness

Leadership starts with empathy. To earn the respect of your team, clients and other people involved, it is important to show empathy and understand their needs. When you care for your team, customers and other stakeholders, they in turn care for you. Design thinking starts with the end users in mind; it creates a thinking framework where you build empathy and inclusiveness.

4. Constant Improvement with Regular Feedback

The design thinking methodology involves iterations and user feedback for continuous improvement of products and services. Feedback is crucial for growth and improvement. Also, what works today may not work tomorrow thus it is important for leaders to touch base with ground reality and ensure consistent improvements. A leader needs to provide constant feedback for improvement of products, services and individuals. Consistent improvement and a growth mindset is crucial for success.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

5. Open Mindedness

Design thinking encourages experiments, creativity and innovation. When working on different concepts and ideas, leaders need to be open minded which helps create an environment of learning and experimentation. They build individuals and teams that take pride in their work. Open minded leaders are continuously seeking ways to improve things, because they welcome divergent ideas that may challenge or stretch them with an open mind.

6. Empower Team and Create Synergy

Design thinking empowers everyone to contribute effectively. It encourages the teams to work collaboratively and creates a synergising effect. When everyone has a say during the development of a product or service, teams feel empowered. The team feels accountable for results and takes complete ownership of things. Leaders can use design thinking for listening to people, getting them to contribute ideas, and empowering them with opportunities to make a difference.

7. Sense of Purpose

In an era of distractions, it is hard for teams to stay focused. People are more focused and productive when they know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Leaders can use design thinking for clarity and articulating their vision. A great leader effectively communicates the purpose & mission of their work to connect everyone. Teams are more likely to achieve their goals when they are given clear and consistent messages.

8. Dealing with Uncertainties

Dealing with change is hard. It gets even harder when you don’t know what is going to change. In the technology driven world, companies need to be well prepared to face competition not just from the competitors but also from digital innovations. With design thinking leaders can evaluate options, see the complete picture of things and choose the best options. Design thinking is a strategy that relies on iterations, feedback and constant improvement to deal with the changing times.

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” -. William Congreve

9. Decisiveness

A leader needs to make decisions all the time. Some of these decisions are crucial in shaping the lives of individuals and organisations. Design thinking helps leaders to improve their decision making by offering alternatives and complete visualisation of information. Leaders can overcome biases and take informed decisions when they are presented with alternatives. Design thinking is now being employed by corporates in different areas of their company to make strategic decisions.

10. Persistence

Great leaders are persistent and never give up their pursuit until they reach their goals. Design thinking is a journey that requires persistence. It is an ongoing process to reach excellence. It is a process that teaches leaders to observe incremental additions, iterate and persist till the desired solution is achieved.

Leaders are learners. They learn from the past, keep an eye on the present and evolve with changing demands of the future. Design thinking is playing an increasingly vital role in creating more effective leaders. These leaders are capable of building strong teams, solve complex problems, show empathy and constantly improvise to unleash great value for everyone involved. Design thinking is a sure fire way for leaders to ensure that the sum total of the team is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

How will you use design thinking for your own business or job? Let us know in the comments below!

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Success Advice

If You’re Looking for Success, Here Are 5 Ways to Find It

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looking for success

What do people want when they talk about being successful? Some of us might want things such as a yacht, private island, or a jet. Others want to feel like they belong and have great relationships with their family and loved ones. (more…)

McVal Osborne is the author of Start Up your Life: Why we don’t know what we want, and how to set goals that really matter. McVal writes about motivation, decision making, and strategic thinking. He graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 2011 with a degree in Spanish, and has since worked as a market researcher and business consultant in Washington D.C., New York City and London. You can reach him on Twitter @mcval or on IG @mcvaliant.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Barbie

    Feb 17, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    I truly enjoyed reading this post. It’s a good reminder than we shouldn’t always be writing for ‘keywords’ or praise but to touch, move, connect with and inspire others through our own personal experiences and wisdom.

  2. Bill Holmes

    May 28, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Thanks so much for writing this article, Tim. I can relate to all eight points, especially writing from your emotion and being vulnerable. I have a difficult time writing from emotion despite the fact I always encourage others to do so. Perhaps it’s time for me to heed my own advice.

    I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and look forward to reading more of your work. Have an awesome day.

    • Tim Denning

      May 30, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Thanks for the kind words Bill. Writing from a place of emotion can be hard but hopefully my tips have shown you how I do it. Best of luck with your work and stay in touch!

  3. Angelo Drake

    May 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    The point I enjoyed the most was ‘getting into the right state’.

    I totally agree that if your head isn’t right, it’s just not going to work.

    Here is what I do to get my head in the place it needs to be to write emotionally.

    1. Listen to Eckhart Tolle. His meditative talks can be found on youtube or his website eckhartolle.com. I find that he always clams me down and puts the best perspective on things.

    2. Do some exercise whilst listening to motivational speeches on youtube. This pumps me up tremendously whilst I make physiological changes to my body. I tend to work out with gymnastics rings whilst these guys shout at me “GET UP, WAKE UP, GIVE IT YOUR ALL”.

    3. Listen to beautiful music. I often type beautiful soundtracks into youtube and let its flow in the background.

    Thanks for a top article Tim 🙂

    • Tim Denning

      May 25, 2016 at 11:55 pm

      Thanks so much for the tips Angelo. I will have to go and listen to some of Eckhart’s work as I have never listened to his stuff before. I will also try your YouTube tips. Appreciate the practical advice.

  4. Toño

    May 25, 2016 at 6:56 am

    Beautiful article, Tim. Enjoying it while reading and replying to you. I also loved to use writing skills at school, as well as literature and languages (Russian & English) and teachers were pleased with me. My writing career, so to speak, started with a girl. I found a fiction story she published in the magazine and sent her an email. We started our communication via email and soon met in person. That was my first love story haha. I have been written countless amount of emails, we were both obsessed with the idea. It was kind of silly and perhaps childish, but we were kids and that’s how I’ve got my writing practice 🙂

    I like that you mentioned ‘flow’ phenomena. I actually use it as much as possible and always reply to you when I’m in it. With your full description of it I will take more notes and use this hack as well, it seems like a very good one. I used to collect quotes from famous people and from books I’ve read. Similar thing that helps you memorize and give you a good habit.

    I also like this sentence so much: ‘Writing can be a great way to release negative emotions or multiply positive emotions.’ It appears that writing can be a cure and your best doctor in so many cases, it will transform your negative energy and you will be like alchemist who turns dirt into gold, which is simply magical.

    And you know what? I am going to write article for my sister’s website which is about vegan food recipes and possibly in the future about vegan lifestyle in general. Your tips are wonderful and I feel you have been writing them being in ‘flow’. Also, superb advice from Tony Robbins, gonna use it for inspiration and gratitude! And I like your own preparation, I think I will try it as well 😉

    Much love for this article, my friend, hugely appreacite your knowledge and always lookin’ and waitin’ for more. Thank you Tim!

    ps: You can read about the wizards who used words to cast a spell; well it still works today, you just have to charge your words with passion, emotions and speak from the heart – there goes modern day magic!

    • Tim Denning

      May 25, 2016 at 6:25 pm

      Toño thank you so much! I think we have all had a love story or two that started out via email, or in my case, a handwritten note which was the fashion when I was in primary school….lol. The state of flow is very interesting and I have spent a lot of time trying to understand it as best as I can. It’s one of the most powerful headspaces to write from.

      Writing down quotes is a good way to summarize certain parts of a book. I have a similar practice where I highlight good quotes in my kindle as I read a book. Often these quotes will then get used in articles later on. One of the best things I found with blogging is that it helps to reinforce the same lessons I’m teaching. Every time I include a quote, that quote then goes one level deeper into my own brain. Then, when I face a difficult challenge, I have the strategies already buried inside of me so I have no excuse not to be positive.

      Best of luck my friend with writing for your sisters vegan website!

  5. Rob Malone

    May 24, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    Awesome post. I really like the idea of getting in touch with your emotions before you write and then just let it rip. Being vulnerable is huge and also can be be very intimidating.

    You really have to be comfortable with your faults to through them out their on the internet. Many people are afraid to show their imperfections or to put their true-self out there for fear of being ridiculed or judged. However the more authentic you are the more compassion you receive.

    Thanks for sharing Tim

    • Tim Denning

      May 25, 2016 at 6:19 pm

      Rob thanks for reading. Your summary is spot on and you’ve captured the most important points. I for one and very comfortable with my faults 🙂

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Success Advice

If You’re Looking for Success, Here Are 5 Ways to Find It

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looking for success

What do people want when they talk about being successful? Some of us might want things such as a yacht, private island, or a jet. Others want to feel like they belong and have great relationships with their family and loved ones.

We end up wanting things without knowing exactly why. We end up creating images in our heads of what it would be like to own these things, to have these relationships, to live these lives, but we casually ignore the negative things that are bound to challenge us along the way.

Even if we end up building these lives for ourselves, we forget that all life comes with suffering, and anyone who experiences great success will also have moments of frustration and perceived failure.

Here are 5 ways to find success right here, right now, as you continue on the path towards building your empire:

1. Excavate before you begin building

Just as you wouldn’t build a skyscraper before excavating deeply underground the construction site and setting the foundation, you wouldn’t start to develop the foundation for a successful life without first understanding where you come from and what drives you. Dig deep to understand what core truths truly motivate you and what you really care about before you start building yourself up. A career built on a shaky foundation will never stand the test of time.

2. Create a strong network

The Pando is a tree colony on the border between Colorado and Utah. What makes the Pando unique is that it is thought to be one contiguous organism, with a combined underground root network covering over 100 acres. The Pando is thought to be the world’s heaviest living organism, and one of the oldest at over 80,000 years old.

Consider what the journey towards success would be without a strong network. Without security and a strong foundation, you won’t be able to weather the storm when inevitable challenges come your way on the path to great success. In order to be truly successful, you must also be willing to share your victories and your defeats with others.

This isn’t about finding fair weather friends who are happy for you when you have a great accomplishment and disappear in times of trouble. You need to build this strong network and ecosystem which will support you in times of need and through times of plenty.

“Effective networking isn’t a result of luck – it requires hard work and persistence.” – Lewis Howes

3. Strengthen your monkey mind

Take responsibility for the habits you choose to strengthen and cultivate, and be ruthless with the habits you choose to cut out. The Basal Ganglia is the part of the brain responsible for the development of habits, while the Prefrontal Cortex is the part of the brain responsible for complex decision making and thought processes.

The Basal Ganglia is effectively the less developed, most basic part of the brain. This “monkey mind” must be strengthened by building strong habits if you want to teach your subconscious to focus on the right things at the right times.

4. Shoot for the moon

As the saying goes, “shoot for the moon, so you’ll land among the stars.” I honestly hate this saying, as I think it is incredibly corny, but it illustrates the point well. If you aim for a big goal, you will be more likely to reach some level of success and acclaim no matter what happens.

What the saying misses is the amount of planning and preparation that goes into “shooting for the moon”. When John F Kennedy announced his plan to land a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s, he set the United States on a road to investing more on a single project than at any other time in human history.

The combined efforts and finances of the most powerful nation on earth all went into making sure the mission would be a success, and as a result humanity came together to accomplish something magnificent.

So, when you’re aiming for something big, don’t half ass it, make a bold announcement, loop in your supporters, and try to change the world. Sometimes when you aim big, you’ll be surprised by who jumps in to lend a hand.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” – Les Brown

5. Make your heart sing

One of the most important factors that defines true success is the ability to do something on a regular basis that brings you joy. While your job won’t always be interesting, and all things done with regularity become monotonous, you should strive to find what makes your heart sing about the work you do and the world in which you live.

Only if you are able to tap into what makes your heart truly sing will you be able to call yourself a success in your daily life. Don’t ask yourself what you love about your job, or even what made you first get interested in your line of work. Instead, ask yourself, what about your current role makes your heart sing.

If you don’t know how to answer that question, perhaps you should go back to step one and start excavating your foundation.

How are you making sure you achieve success this year? Let us know in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Neuroplasticity Exercises the Top 3% of the Happy and Successful Do

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Neuroplasticity Exercises

Neuroplasticity means you will no more have to wake up each morning with the dread of having to start a new day of which you already know the outcome. For decades, it’s been the same routine, you get up with negative feelings that your day will turnout just like the day before full of stress and discontent.

Whether it’s concerning your job/career, a relationship, finances, or health, you just know everything will go against you no matter what you do. You may have fallen into the trap of having a fixed mindset where you think your abilities to learn and accomplish more in your life are limited.

The truth is you may have limitations, but you can still envision better solutions. Your brain is ready and willing to go the extra mile to learn how to solve all the issues your facing in life but it’s that doubt, worry, and fear that continually creeps into the thought pattern which acts as the action killer.

Neuroplasticity isn’t some kind of new Play-Doh for kids, it’s the power your brain has to rejuvenate and create the life you want. Neuroplasticity – or brain plasticity – is the brain’s ability to modify its connections or rewire itself. Without this ability, any brain, not just the human brain, would be unable to develop from infancy through to adulthood. It has now been proven the brain continues to learn and rejuvenate itself as new data is received and stored.

You may say, “You’re just wired to be unhappy.” or “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” That’s the beliefs and train of thought our culture has today due to our primitive and out of date educational system along with the big corporation’s ideology.

“Brain plasticity is a two-way street. It’s just as easy to generate negative changes as positive ones.”

Here’s the eye-opening truth, you can change and rewire your brain for happiness and success We have habits that turn into beliefs which distort our perceptions of life and the world around us. Habits are strong persuaders to your actions in familiar areas of life so, when you disrupt those habits it sends the brain into a little chaos until change takes place.

That’s fantastic news because if we can create habits that distort our brain, we can also create habits that reveal and rejuvenate clear precise solutions to our challenging issues. So, how do you start retraining your brain for happiness and success?

Start changing habits to increase brain power with these proven neuroplasticity builders below:

1. Aerobic Exercises

A 60-minute intense workout gives the best results but just in case you’re not a fitness addict, taking a leisure stroll through the park will light up different parts of your brain and aid with neuroplasticity.

2. Reading a good book

If you hate sitting down and taking the time to read a good book or magazine, that’s fantastic because doing things you don’t like and are different stimulate your neurons to the max.

3. Playing games

It can be challenging on the brain to try and figure out all the winning strategies to become the champion in a board game. Nonetheless, these will really get the old brain juices flowing.

4. Anything out of the ordinary

Doing something out of the ordinary will trigger the brain plasticity you’re looking for. Things as simple as brushing your teeth with the opposite hand. If your right-handed start brushing with the left or vise-versa.

Learning is thought to be “neuro-protective.” Through neuroplasticity, learning increases connections between neurons, increases cellular metabolism, and increases the production of nerve growth factor, a substance produced by the body to help maintain and repair neurons.”

“Neuroplasticity provides us with a brain that can adapt not only to changes inflicted by damage, but allows adaptation to any and all experiences and changes we may encounter.”

5. Smile

Smiling starts your day off with a BANG and can give those brain cells of yours an extra boost anytime anywhere. It’s like taking a shot of super juice to overcome the stress, worry, and frustrations during the day.

In the mornings when you open those big beautiful sexy eyes of yours put on a smile from ear to ear on your face. This will trigger your brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine.

Dopamine is classified as the happy chemical in neuroscience which has the ability to create a state of euphoria throughout your entire body in a matter of seconds. It vanquishes the feeling of stress, worry, and frustration immediately. The great thing is dopamine works every single time and it doesn’t matter if the smile is genuine or fake because the brain can’t distinguish the difference.

The bad thing is statistics show, adults only put a SMILE on their face an average of 4 times a day compared to child who SMILES an average of 400 times a day. If you want to rewire your brain for happiness and success while defusing stress, worry, and frustrations in your life daily it may be wise to start following the examples of our children.

Above are some exciting proven avenues to invigorate neuroplasticity to your brain functions and start living and loving life to the fullest on your own terms.

Would love to hear about your personal exercises being used to rejuvenate your brain for happiness and success in the comments below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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The 3 C’s of Leadership That Determines Your Success

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leadership

Have you caught the seasonal flu or a common cold this winter season? If so, you likely received advice to drink a glass of orange juice for the benefits associated with consuming Vitamin C. To repair an immune system that has been weakened by the common cold or flu, Vitamin C can provide the body with nutrition that can expedite recovery time. When it comes to exhibiting positive leadership behaviors there exists three qualities that also begin with the letter “C” and are helpful.  

To receive the Vitamin C’s of leadership, you must start with a desire to improve. One camp might endorse that you find mentorship from a senior colleague. Another person or group may recommend that you spend more time reading articles or books discussing leadership experiences and advice. With either point of origin, it can open a path to growth and improvement as a leader. However, you chose to proceed with the second inquiry which is why you are here!

We often believe that leadership is a cumbersome and daunting process. It can be difficult, but if we are strategic about cultivating a few characteristics, the mountain to positive impact is a little more feasible to climb. From school teachers and administrators to business executives and their employees, I have found that all great leaders possess a minimum of three dominant characteristics.

These three dominant features can provide an individual with the strength to continue during the difficult times that often accompany leadership; they are similar to the Vitamin C that can make you feel better when battling a cold or the flu.

Enough already, what are the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success? See below:

1. Confidence

Leaders believe in themselves and the people they serve. This positive self-awareness or confidence that effective leaders have, often radiates in every aspect of their work from communication with others to informed decisions. One strategy you can use to develop confidence is the commitment to being the first one to speak during a meeting or class. Successful leaders are willing to express themselves in a variety of capacities, even when they may possess less common viewpoints or modes of behavior.

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” – John C. Maxwell

2. Competency

Building on the importance of confidence, effective leadership is about being able to create a personal development plan that consistently encourages you to improve. Some of the most revered leaders in our society, strategically make time to read daily. Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey are two of the most common examples of this relentless thirst for knowledge.

They have committed to life-long learning that continues, despite reaching nearly every financial and business goal possible. To become more competent, you can create a schedule that allows for the investment in activities such as reading articles and books to stay informed.

3. Charisma

You might call it SWAG or a gift, but the ability to attract other people who support you and your work are essential. It is not necessary to resemble a supermodel to get people to like you, but you do need to carry yourself with a certain level of pride to effectively encourage others to follow your advice and instructions.

Charisma is a byproduct of possessing confidence in yourself to serve as a useful leader. You can build more charisma in your life, by being more mindful to genuinely listen and respond to your colleagues, family, and friends in conversations. Don’t allow yourself to become intimidated by the responsibilities that can come with the roles of a leader.

“I attract a crowd, not because I’m an extrovert or I’m over the top or I’m oozing with charisma. It’s because I care.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

In many cases, you would not be in the position to earn followers without the necessary qualifications or skill set. Excelling in leadership is possible for you when you are consistent with tapping into the power of the Vitamin C’s of leadership and success.

Confidence, Competency, and Charisma can offer a bountiful number of resources to serve others in authoritative roles of professional and personal environments. Confident leaders believe in themselves, their products, and their services. Competent leaders commit to a lifetime of learning. Charismatic leaders make use of their confidence to attract other people who can support the vision of a group or individual. With the engagement of consistent activities and the reinforcement from positive examples of leadership, nothing is impossible for you to achieve!

How do you display confidence, competency, and charisma on a daily basis with people? Let us know your advice below!

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10 Amazing Leadership Lessons From Design Thinking

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design thinking leadership

Leadership is a challenging proposition in a world of disruptions and changes due to the rate of change being overwhelming. How do leaders cope with constant changes, enormous expectations and an unpredictable future? Well, a lot of the top organisations including Pepsi, Nike, Apple and Google use Design Thinking for leadership matters.

Design thinking is coming up with visual patterns that lead to the desired solutions. In other words, it is about connecting the dots to come up with solutions to practical problems that you want to solve. The Design thinking approach is widely appreciated and adopted by leaders around the globe.

Below, we look at 10 intriguing leadership lessons from design thinking:

1. Solution Focused Approach

Design thinking helps leaders to develop a solution centric mindset. The emphasis is on identifying and defining the core problem and then arriving at the best solution. Corporates and teams are looking for leaders who have a solution focused approach. The best leaders understand that they create value by offering solutions to complex problems. They resolve conflicts, solve problems and relish the idea of making the difference.

2. Connect the Dots

Leaders need to look at the complete picture for connecting and correlating things. Design thinking provides visualisation of the problem, constraints, desired solution and complete picture of things. It is a great way leaders can visualise abstract concepts. Leaders can use visual mapping of the assumptions, constraints, existing state and the goal state to align their teams in the right direction.

3. Empathy & Inclusiveness

Leadership starts with empathy. To earn the respect of your team, clients and other people involved, it is important to show empathy and understand their needs. When you care for your team, customers and other stakeholders, they in turn care for you. Design thinking starts with the end users in mind; it creates a thinking framework where you build empathy and inclusiveness.

4. Constant Improvement with Regular Feedback

The design thinking methodology involves iterations and user feedback for continuous improvement of products and services. Feedback is crucial for growth and improvement. Also, what works today may not work tomorrow thus it is important for leaders to touch base with ground reality and ensure consistent improvements. A leader needs to provide constant feedback for improvement of products, services and individuals. Consistent improvement and a growth mindset is crucial for success.

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou

5. Open Mindedness

Design thinking encourages experiments, creativity and innovation. When working on different concepts and ideas, leaders need to be open minded which helps create an environment of learning and experimentation. They build individuals and teams that take pride in their work. Open minded leaders are continuously seeking ways to improve things, because they welcome divergent ideas that may challenge or stretch them with an open mind.

6. Empower Team and Create Synergy

Design thinking empowers everyone to contribute effectively. It encourages the teams to work collaboratively and creates a synergising effect. When everyone has a say during the development of a product or service, teams feel empowered. The team feels accountable for results and takes complete ownership of things. Leaders can use design thinking for listening to people, getting them to contribute ideas, and empowering them with opportunities to make a difference.

7. Sense of Purpose

In an era of distractions, it is hard for teams to stay focused. People are more focused and productive when they know what they are doing and why they are doing it. Leaders can use design thinking for clarity and articulating their vision. A great leader effectively communicates the purpose & mission of their work to connect everyone. Teams are more likely to achieve their goals when they are given clear and consistent messages.

8. Dealing with Uncertainties

Dealing with change is hard. It gets even harder when you don’t know what is going to change. In the technology driven world, companies need to be well prepared to face competition not just from the competitors but also from digital innovations. With design thinking leaders can evaluate options, see the complete picture of things and choose the best options. Design thinking is a strategy that relies on iterations, feedback and constant improvement to deal with the changing times.

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” -. William Congreve

9. Decisiveness

A leader needs to make decisions all the time. Some of these decisions are crucial in shaping the lives of individuals and organisations. Design thinking helps leaders to improve their decision making by offering alternatives and complete visualisation of information. Leaders can overcome biases and take informed decisions when they are presented with alternatives. Design thinking is now being employed by corporates in different areas of their company to make strategic decisions.

10. Persistence

Great leaders are persistent and never give up their pursuit until they reach their goals. Design thinking is a journey that requires persistence. It is an ongoing process to reach excellence. It is a process that teaches leaders to observe incremental additions, iterate and persist till the desired solution is achieved.

Leaders are learners. They learn from the past, keep an eye on the present and evolve with changing demands of the future. Design thinking is playing an increasingly vital role in creating more effective leaders. These leaders are capable of building strong teams, solve complex problems, show empathy and constantly improvise to unleash great value for everyone involved. Design thinking is a sure fire way for leaders to ensure that the sum total of the team is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

How will you use design thinking for your own business or job? Let us know in the comments below!

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