Not when or where do you think best. We all have stories of that a-ha moment while taking a shower or waking up with the solution to an especially thorny problem we are facing.
But, how do you think best?
Do you think best by bouncing ideas off of other people? Do you think best by scribbling on a white board? Do you think best by listening to music?
Probably not surprising, I learned years ago that I think best by writing. Writing helps clarify my thoughts. If I can’t write it coherently, I know I’m not thinking about it clearly either.
As pressure mounts to think less (from constant communication tools, to social media time fillers, to AI technology hacks), I am convinced there is a path for exceptional advancement work to be done by people who make the time to pause and think. To strategize. To plan. To construct and design. To prepare.
Intentionality through thinking, while not uniquely human, is critical aspect of our human condition that separates us from almost all other animals. And various forms of collaboration and intentionally thinking with others is uniquely human.
So, if we aim to separate ourselves as exceptional, if we aim to delight more donors, if we aim to be most productive, I’m convinced that putting more of our humanity into our work is key.
And, while our humanness isn’t tied solely to our thinking, our ability to think, to plan, to set goals, and to act in support of those goals are key aspects of what makes us distinctive and human.
Perhaps, then, we become better advancement leaders the more we turn away from all of the technology hacks and time wasters and simply (but humanly) think for ourselves.
This article was originally posted on Jason’s Blog in November 2023. To read more, visit www.jasonmcneal.com.