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Time to Think – random thoughts on thinking

Thanksgiving represents for friends, family, the launch of many Holiday activities and a time to think.  We are encouraged to think of our many blessings – the things we are thankful for.  I have been blessed with a great family, many very special friends and the opportunity to learn from some of the best minds on the planet.


I spent a portion of my long weekend reading Payback – Reaping the Rewards of Innovation, a new book from Harvard Business School Press.  This book studies the cultures of some of the world’s most innovative companies.  One quote struck me as worth repeating:

“People who might have had tome to think in the past have often been required to take on new tasks and more responsibilities, and their thinking time has been reduced or obliterated -- executives will admit that they don’t have enough time to think about much beyond their current activities.”


Abraham Lincoln’s life long friend and law partner was quoted as saying, “Lincoln spends more time thinking than any man alive.”



If you are a Sales Manager remember, a mentor and coach can clarify your thought process and drive Better Decisions.


Six Random Thoughts on Thinking


Time spent in the car – Rarely do I meet a business person who doesn’t spend considerable time driving.  For the benefit of my younger friends (who no doubt will want to “poke me” for saying this), back in the old days we didn’t have cell phones so driving time was a great time for uninterrupted thought. 

I recommend spending at least a portion of your travel time with the phone off.  Write a topic to think about on a post-it note and stick it on your dash.  Then let your subconscious mind do the work for you.  Think Sales, Think Partner not Vendor, Think Period.


Take a walk – While walking, not only will the exercise do wonders for your body, the rush of oxygen to your brain will drive some pretty good thinking.  I like to carry a note pad to jot down some of the ideas that fly though my mind.  The route between my house and Walgreens has provided some great ideas on Distributor Specialist deployment.


Think together – I love network groups.  I lead a group called Meeting of the Minds.  The Presidents and Leaders of six companies and I get together in a relaxed setting an engage in conversation and free-wheeling discussion.  Distributors don’t have R&D departments.  We don’t have a special Skunk Works building full of rocket scientists.  But, pile thought on top of thought and the stack turns into a skyscraper pretty darn fast.


Read – then think – With all do respect to the folks at Evelyn Woods, speed reading isn’t always the best way to go.  My second grade teacher Mrs. Corzine (the mother of New Jersey Governor, Jon Corzine) wouldn’t approve but I find that taking time to write notes in the margin of the books I read slows me down to think about what the author just said.  Read a minute, think a minute. 


Plan; Think, Plan – Last year I wrote a number of articles on left-right brain thinking.  In the research for these articles, I found the experts believe that setting a plan, then revisiting it allows for the creative right lobe of our brain to kick in its fair share.  Put a rough outline of your plan on paper.  Visual stimulation important – the right brain feeds on visualization.  Then come back to the plan early the next morning.  By then your right brain will have loaded in some great new thoughts.


Graphical Representation – Want to think over the fence?  Instead of writing sentences or phrases – try creating visual representations.  The very process of doing so will free you of the need for proper English, grammar and those pesky sentence structures you learned way, way back in grade school.  It will be awkward at first, but once you break past the regimen you learned when you were 10, the thoughts will flow.


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