The thinker leadership trait allows leaders to analyze complex situations logically and draw accurate conclusions. Thinkers spot patterns that others can’t. They can create many advantages for their organizations, but on the downside, they are prone to overthinking and fail to take timely action.

We understand the world around us by perceiving and analyzing our surroundings. We think about optimal courses of action and make decisions based on our perceptions and analysis. Some of us are better at it than others. Some of us can use our mental focus and expert knowledge to invent, acquire knowledge, and lead.

The leaders who rely on their thinking and analytic capabilities possess what leadership coaching professionals call the thinker trait.


Can thinking hurt the quality of your leadership?

The Thinker Trait

Thinkers are at home in technical expertise. They aren’t afraid to use their analytic skills to get ahead. Those who remain aligned with reality make sound, logical decisions that garner the appreciation and admiration of their followers.

The Strengths of Thinker Leaders

Analysis and the accurate interpretation of complex information are the top strengths of mature thinkers. A mature thinker leader can make sense of market trends that may be invisible to others, securing a unique edge for their organizations.

Mature thinkers are assets for their companies for another reason. Not only can they figure out complex situations and problems, but they can also explain them to others in simple and comprehensible ways.

How can you tell you are a mature thinker?

  • Thinker leaders are visionaries. They peer into the future based on logical assumptions and deductions and inspire others with equally logical visions.
  • Leadership coaches appreciate the questions thinkers ask. Getting clients to ask insightful questions then answer them is what executive coaching professionals see as the optimal way to help clients. Thinker leaders play into this scenario naturally and gladly.
  • Acting without complete information is a considerable leadership strength. I’ve said in my books and blog posts thinkers are capable of drawing conclusions and creating logical predictions based on incomplete information.
  • Thinkers don’t marry their theories and ideas. Once proven irrelevant, they let go of their theories and explore new avenues of logic.
  • Thinkers are not afraid of uncertainty. Some thinker leaders relish it as the environment that amplifies their leadership skills.

Mature thinkers can benefit from acquiring the skills of a mature driver. Business coaching can guide leaders toward the skills that best augment their current skillsets. By acquiring the skills of mature drivers, mature thinkers can more readily turn their thoughts into action, overcoming some of the awkwardness that characterizes their interpersonal communication.

The Weaknesses of Thinkers

When they allow their thinking ways to derail, thinkers can sabotage their leadership.

  • Their less-than-ideal interpersonal skills can turn thinkers argumentative and hostile when facing disagreement.
  • Some derailing thinkers may get married to their ideas and interpret logical conclusions through the lenses of their theories.
  • Immature thinkers jump to conclusions. Having performed relevant, scientific analysis, they ruin decision-making by adopting haphazard perspectives.
  • An immature thinker gets lost in the analysis of the details and misses the bigger picture.
  • Derailing thinkers develop disdain for rules and authority while becoming socially isolated.
  • Derailing thinkers may develop lasting animosity against people who disagree with them.
  • Some thinkers get caught up in their analyses, endlessly pondering possible solutions to problems and failing to take necessary action.
  • To counter overthinking, some thinkers resort to acting erratically on impulses.


Overthinking is a heavy burden for many leaders. 

If you are a thinker leader, you prefer analysis and intellectual prowess to authority and inspiration. Thinkers like to set up logical structures and systems everyone can understand.

The basic fear of thinker leaders is that someone may invalidate their views of reality.


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