Time to explore another very interesting distinction between anabolic and catabolic leaders—the way each type of leader thinks. This is perhaps one of the most complicated, but essential, aspects of understanding the fundamental difference between the two types of leaders.
Catabolic leaders use left brain analysis almost exclusively. This type of thinking is linear and rational. It’s the logical approach and considers only facts and actual observations.
In contrast, anabolic leaders use whole brain thinking, which encompasses the emotions and intuition of the right brain along with the logic of the left brain. This type of thinking is called holographic thinking because like multi-dimensional holograms, it involves being able to see situations and potentialities from many different perspectives at once.
By using their emotional and intuitive minds in addition to left brain logical analysis, anabolic leaders are able to assess a situation in its entirety to discern a complete picture of what is really going on. The ability to see this “meta-view” is key to making optimal short- and long-term decisions that provide the greatest possibility for success in every aspect of life.
So how would this actually play out in real life? Say a leader was faced with a decision about whether to pull the plug on a project that wasn’t producing the expected income. The catabolic leader would look only at the facts and figures and, most likely, would decide to discontinue the project because the money wasn’t coming in.
An anabolic leader would also consider the facts and figures concerning the disappointing return on investment, but would then cast a wider net to weigh other considerations. Anabolic leaders would also examine their intuitive response and flashes of insight. And they’d consider emotional responses—their own and those of other affected parties.
Though the anabolic leaders might sometimes come to the same conclusions as the catabolic leaders, the reliability of their decisions in producing the best outcomes will be far better.
By using a holographic approach, anabolic leaders are being both efficient and effective by addressing opportunities and challenges from many perspectives at once. To practice thinking holographically, consider your potential action in light of what makes sense, what your emotional response to it is and what your intuition tells you. If this is a new approach, it may feel intangible and awkward at first. But if you stick with it, eventually it will become the new normal that increases your success rate exponentially.
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