Mo asks Karim Nehdi: What is your big idea on how people can grow their book of business, relationships, and career?
Different people think differently, but most people don’t realize what that really means. The most effective leaders and business developers are able to harness the differences in thought and cognitive diversity for maximum effect. We all have neural pathways that shift over time. We innately default to seeking out people that think like us, but the best teams break out of that pattern and tap into the differences in the way that people think. Karim is the CEO of Herrmann International and has been working with Mo for a long time in many of the programs he’s developed. We are just scratching the potential of what the brain is capable of. We’ve learned over the past few decades that there are cognitive modes that dictate the way that we think, and the four different modes come together in different measures within each person. The first system is analytical thought. The second is structural thought. The third is relational thought. The fourth is experimental thought. We have all four pathways in our brains, but over time we come to default to one or two primarily, and that’s where the trouble comes in. People think they connect on preferences and areas they align. When you feel a match with someone the ideas tend to flow fairly easily, but when there’s a mismatch, the interaction can be awkward or difficult. A good example would be the IT team and the customer facing team. They both think in nearly opposite ways, and this can create tension in an organizational setting. In a business development context, understanding the differences can be very powerful. If you sense the prospect is risk averse, you should probably minimize the experimental and transformational elements of the pitch and focus on the process and how it all works. The most important component of good management, good leadership, and good stewardship is making sure that you have diversity of mind. Leaders that can bring a unique viewpoint and harness that within their organization can have a big impact. 3% of people are balanced across all four quadrants. Everyone can tap into the four different thinking systems. You just have to be willing to stretch and flex those cognitive muscles.
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