Thursday, December 2, 2021


Leadership is more about the future but starts at today. Understanding cognitive intelligence and keeping cognitive fit help to improve leadership maturity and management effectiveness.

Modern society is a dynamic continuum with collective human progress being made through the work of foreseeable minds with cognitive competency which refers to growth mindset, clarified logic, and creativity. Organizational leaders with cognitive competency can make more objective perception, integrate thoughts to address ignorance, minimize assumptions for making sound judgments, develop creativity, and reinvent new knowledge, in order to drive changes smoothly, and move forward confidently.

Cognitive Progressor: Progress represents change. Without change, one cannot even stagnate. Without changing mindset, progress is only lip service. To bridge the leadership effectiveness gap, Business leaders need to understand the level of cognitive differences, keep learning and sharpen their thinking ability to improve cognitive competency. People with strong cognitive abilities continue expanding their cognitive threshold by learning and deepening understanding, sharpening leadership discipline in more profound and effective ways. It is important to build heterogeneous teams with the cognitive difference and complementary skills/capabilities/ background/ experience, to broaden the vision, and deepen understanding for amplifying innovation influence.

One of the most critical responsibilities for leaders is to make decisions, especially at the strategic level. It’s very important to avoid another pitfall – group thinking, which is often caused by the homogeneous team setting with cognitive gaps, describing a phenomenon that a group of people can make a more extreme decision than an individual. Cognitive understanding requires a person's ability to grasp or comprehend information and make logical reasoning. When you judge something, you form a critical opinion of it based on facts, discerned data, or preconceived notions. Heterogeneous team setting with cognitive differences improves collective decision effectiveness by complementing each other’s mindset, competency and harnessing the power of teamwork.

Cognitive innovator
: Creativity is about thinking beyond conventional wisdom, or the “Out of Box” thinking. It is a sort of cognitive activity involving different dimensions of thinking and the multitude of thought processes such as association, perspective shifting, divergent thinking, etc. To be innovative, the mind needs to be open enough to embrace other minds’ perception, understand things from different angles, identify the leverage points of the system and connect the wider dots, in an attempt to come up with creative ideas and catalyze the culture of creativity.

Great leaders are cognitive innovators who present cognitive differences, capabilities, and experiences in multiple dimensions. They can build a high-innovative team composed of people who can generate lots of original ideas, as well as people who can navigate innovation strategy, implement these ideas, and evaluate innovation performance. To bridge cognitive gaps and maximize collective innovation potential, the inclusive team is more innovative, as good ideas are multidimensional, they take root in unsuspected places, they evolve with time and by unexpected connections for keeping great ideas flowing and reaping the benefits from them.

Cognitive influencer: Leadership is about the future and influence, we are inextricably linked today, in real time and in ways far more imminent than most realize. Organizational leaders need to make a profound influence by connecting the minds and touching the hearts all the time. It starts from the mindset level, great leaders demonstrate advanced thinking skills such as independent thinking, critical thinking, creative thinking, or systems thinking, etc, by analyzing and synthesizing information, digging deeper to gain contextual understanding by sensing the tones and embracing holism. They also show strong ethics, responsibility, integrity, and empathy.

The very goal of leadership influence is to inspire change and motivate actions, realizing corporate vision. You must be open minded, upward-focused, and demonstrate high levels of cognitive intelligence and various skills to drive changes you want to see. Strategic intelligence enables you to diagnose the problems; paradoxical intelligence helps to strike the right balance; system intelligence allows you to understand the interrelationship between parts and the whole; judgmental intelligence ensures sound judgments. Great leaders as cognitive influencers present empathy to understand others deep at the mindset level, being nonjudgmental, active listening, putting the right people in the right positions to solve right problems at the right timing.

Leadership is really a character and personal development for inspiring and leading progressive changes. It is the ability to influence with or without authority. The purpose of leadership is to awaken the possibility in people to deliver extraordinary results. You have to understand there are leadership keys you can master as a leader - your thinking, your emotions, your behavior and the actions you take. Understanding cognitive intelligence and keeping cognitive fit help to improve leadership maturity and management effectiveness.


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