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4D Leadership

4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development

Twenty years ago the accumulation of skills, knowledge and experience (‘horizontal development’) was sufficient for business success. Today, it’s not. 4D Leadership – Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development, offers a new approach of ‘vertical development’.

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How to land great ideas every day


You’re sat at your desk and the pressure is on. Market conditions are tough but your boss and the business needs an idea, an innovation that will help you stay ahead of the competition. You’ve been racking your brains for almost two hours and absolutely nothing new is occurring to you.

Then you have a flash of inspiration and a great idea just comes into your head. Fantastic, but have you every stopped to wonder how that happened? Why did the idea come to you then? Why not an hour and 50 minutes earlier? And have you ever wondered where that idea was just 30 seconds before it occurred to you? For most people how such breakthrough thinking works and why it occurs is a complete mystery. 

But, there is no real mystery. What’s clear from the neuroscientific research, beautifully paraphrased by Einstein, is that you can’t solve problems with the same level of thinking that created them. You can’t just think your way into better thinking.

The truth is that thoughts don’t occur in vacuums, they occur in the context of our biology and our emotional state. That means that if we can change the environment in which our thoughts occur, different thoughts will come to us.

Thirty seconds before that idea landed it was already in your mind. The problem wasn’t that the idea wasn’t there; the problem was that you couldn’t land it. A great idea is a lot like a 747 circling above a runway. The 747 is there, just like the idea is there, but unless the conditions change – you remove other aircraft, the fog lifts, etc. – the 747, and the idea, is not able to land. If you change your internal conditions, then great ideas can start to land. You need to open up the landing slots for your 747 ideas.

Coherence: The Secret Science of Brilliant Leadership can help you open up your landing slots. It all starts with controlling your physiology and your emotional state. You control your physiology through rhythmic, even breathing – that’s not deep breathing, but breathing rhythmically and evenly through the centre of your chest. Once you have your breathing under control you then need to control your emotional state and create the right emotional conditions to land your ideas.

If you are stuck in a negative emotional state with chaotic or unhelpful physiology your ideas just won’t be able to land and you’ll spend weeks trying to come up with that critical new idea. Change your ‘internal weather’, create a coherent state and you’ll find yourself having to hold the planes (ideas) back as they’ll be landing every two minutes. You may start to divert planes to other ‘airports’, happy to give away ideas to others, confident in the knowledge that now you know how to create the right conditions, you can land great ideas every day on demand.

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Dr Alan Watkins

Alan is recognised as an international expert on leadership and human performance. He has a broad mix of commercial, academic, scientific and technological abilities.

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