Global Leadership Community

Great thinkers and leaders are not made in the vacuum. Every time that we had a surge in the number of scientific breakthroughs or great leaders, something was happening in the context that made it possible. Something that made those great minds interact and connect with each other and as a result of that, great visions and visionaries emerged.

 

In this day and age, the level of interactions and connectivity has risen more than ever (thanks to social networks and the Internet), but the depth of those interactions has not necessarily increased. The side effect of that is an illusion of being connected to other great minds across the globe, while we could be suffering from severe intellectual deprivation as a result of either being too distracted or not really connected to the people that matter for our growth and development.

 

On the other hand, it can be argued that leaders (in politics, sciences, businesses and arts) are moving away from solid moral and humanistic values and are getting closer to being motivated by serving personal interests, serving a certain group's interest or accumulation of wealth. How could we preserve the planet, for instance, if we try to do the right things for the wrong reasons? Once we as future leaders start to straighten our values, it becomes much easier to move resources and lead our civilization to a better state than where it is now.

 

For reasons mentioned above, I felt compelled to start a community, a forum or simply a label that could catalyze this process. I named it "Thinkocrats" as a way to differentiate a method of leadership that is deeply rooted in a robust and well-intentioned way of critical thinking. In particular, I am going to advocate for Systems Thinking as a methodology that is lacking from most schools that train future scientists, business leaders and politicians.

Ten Principle of Thinkocrats

If you believe in most or all of the following principles, you may say you are a Thinkocrat:

  1. Freedom of Thought: Freedom of thought is a universal human right.

  2. Thinking Matters: Our presence and future depends on our personal and collective thinking.

  3. Equality of Thoughts: Every individual has a unique way of thinking; this is something that we learn to respect and value.

  4. Value of Diversity: We welcome new members (regardless of age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, race, religion, language and sexual orientation) to join our community with an open frame of mind.

  5. Big Picture: Systems Thinking is the core of our innovations, decision makings and problem-solving.

  6. Partnership in Thinking: Thinking partnership is a possibility that we value and seize every day of our lives.

  7. Open Feedback: In relation with others, we are generous with our comments, feedback, ideas and approaches.

  8. Personal Accountability: We are accountable for our own happiness, peace, well being and prosperity through good decisions and holistic plans compatible with our core principles.

  9. Peer Support and Fellowship: We are accountable for developing other Thinkocrats in their journeys to become better thinkers and leaders.

  10. Social Responsibility: Our decisions, innovations and solutions are sensible, fair, rigorous, sustainable, green, non-discriminatory and philanthropic.

Pyramid of Self-Awareness Scale (PSAS)

One of the first steps to develop as a leader is deepen our self-awareness. In my professional life, I came across numerous tools used in various leadership development programs, but none of them fitted this purpose and captured the essence of what a leader needs to know about himself or herself. Some focused on behaviors, some on critical thinking, some on leadership styles, but none of them had a holistic approach to self-awareness. I concluded that I had to come up with my own scale rather than customizing other tools that were not compatible with the essence of being a thinkocrat. To that end, I drew upon the ancient wisdom that every Iranian is brought up with and is actually very similar to many other eastern civilizations. What I am referring to is the doctrine of Good Thoughts, Good Words, and Good Deeds found in Zoroaster's teachings. I took those concepts and developed them further in five steps:

 

1. Thinking in itself consists of "what we think" and "how we think". Therefore, in assessing our self-awareness, we need to understand both aspects of our thoughts: Thinking Content and Thinking Style.

 

2. Good Deeds is reflective of our Modus Operandi or Professional Character. Our routines, our typical behaviors and attitudes construct this important aspect of who we are.

 

3. The third element is about how we communicate, connect and influence. Good Words are rather general and unspecific, because our connections can rely on not only what we say, but also on how we say it through nonverbal cues and energy.

 

4. Our Thinking Content, Thinking Style, Professional Character and Connection Style are all based on something. Something that gives them intent, direction and meaning. By that, we are referring to our Personal Values, which is at the core of who we are. 

 

4. Our Thinking Content, Thinking Style, Professional Character and Connection Style are all based on something. Something that gives them intent, direction and meaning. By that, we are referring to our Personal Values, which is at the core of who we are. 

 

5. Finally, I thought of how to put these 4+1 elements together. Structurally, I thought of a Pyramid as one of the most stable structures. It has a base (Personal Values) and four sides, two of which visible to an spectator (our behaviors and connections) and two are invisible (our thinking contents and style). That's why this tool is called the "Pyramid of Self-Awareness Scale". 

 

This scale is available online and you can take it by clicking here. At this point, a customized report can be generated for individuals who are interested in learning more about themselves and would like to discuss how they can utilize this new knowledge in their life journeys to achieve their goals and pursue their missions in life.

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© 2016 Pejman Azarmina