Executive Think Time: Thinking that Gets Results
by Val Williams
Shadowbrook Publishing, 105 pages, $14.95

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Although it clocks in at just over 100 pages, Executive Think Time will kick start busy, stressed out supervisors. The premise is simple: Think Time, or time to strategize and visualize is not on the daily schedule for most managers. As the book's title indicates, the author's aren't talking about reflecting. They are realistic enough to realize that in the business world results are what count. Anyone in a supervisory role who follows these suggestions for strategic thinking will find their goals getting clearer and plans aligning to meet them.

"It is a common assumption that being a high achiever means that you say 'yes' to every challenge," Fredericks and Williams write. "What is missing is the time to think." The benefits of incorporating this "Think Time" into your daily routine are manifold. According to Executive Think Time it can be used for increasing revenue, developing new products, the organization's culture, productivity, and profit. It is defined by these three tenets:

  1. Executives feel they cannot afford to take time out to "think." We say executives can't afford not to take time if they are going to be successful.

  2. Executive Think Time is time to visualize, strategize, plan, focus, and align. These are all critical success factors for executives.

  3. The results of Executive Think Time are the best possible strategies, goals, and actions for your organization. Executive Think Time is about getting results.

Executive Think Time takes a novel approach to getting the most out of thinking endeavors by making distinctions. The book delves into the differences between reactive vs. proactive thinking, tactical vs. strategic, and dialoguing vs. debating.

It has a great section on avoiding the pitfalls of accepted thinking about thinking. "Sometimes managers feel there are hidden payoffs to being overworked and continually busy," the authors caution. "When they look really busy they look important and this makes them feel valuable." The problem is, in the long run being continually busy does not give you proper time to think.

Small in length, but big on concept, Executive Think Time's model may initially seem hard to put into practice. The authors reassure readers that once you work your way into the concept and embed it into your day, results will follow. If you're looking to take your leadership to the next level this book gives you the tools to optimize thinking and get back in touch with the big picture.

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