book covers paid to think

A 5 Minute Overview Of

Paid to Think

A Leader's Toolkit for Redefining Your Future

About the Authors

David Goldsmith is president of his own consulting company, Goldsmith Organization LLC. In addition to being a business owner, Mr. Goldsmith is also an accomplished keynote speaker and corporate advisor. He has been on the faculty of the New York University for more than twelve years. He is a graduate of Syracuse University.

Lorrie Goldsmith is co-founder of the Goldsmith Organization LLC and helps deliver leadership development training, consulting services and educational resources worldwide.

The Main Idea

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.
Henry Ford

When you get right down to brass tacks, if you're a manager, you're paid to think. So the big question is: "What should you be thinking about?"

In reality, there are only twelve core activities where you add value to your enterprise as a leader:


  1. When you develop new plans for moving forward.
  2. When you create new products and services.
  3. When you establish new alliances.
  4. When you plan ways to leverage new technology.


  1. When you acquire new knowledge.
  2. When you enhance your global awareness.
  3. When you watch your competitors and respond.


  1. When you lead the charge and get things done.
  2. When you empower others to do more.
  3. When you encourage creativity and innovation.
  4. When you sell continuously.


  1. When you forecast the future accurately.

All of these types of leadership thinking can be embodied in an approach termed "Enterprise Thinking." The Enterprise Thinking framework provides a practical framework and a set of tools which you can use to think constructively and productively about challenges. It allows you to think better, faster and more constructively. Overall, Enterprise Thinking helps you do what you're paid to do better — it helps you think like a leader.

Companies occasionally... excel because of luck. But usually they excel because of brains.
Warren Buffett
You can never underestimate the value of thinking before taking action, especially when you're about to invest labor, capital, time, and your reputation on an initiative.
David Goldsmith

How to See What Others Miss and Predict the Future

1. Strategizing. Whether you realize it or not, you're already strategizing most of the time. You do this by thinking about how you can improve your organization and strengthen your competitive advantage. To become better at strategizing, learn how to develop plans which are strategically superior, create lucrative new products and services, build better alliances and leverage technology to accelerate what your organization does.

2. Learning. As a leader, you're either becoming aware of a topic you need to know more about or gaining in-depth knowledge in that field. Most leaders spend the majority of their time becoming aware of topics and not enough time building actual know-how. To reverse that trend, understand how to acquire new knowledge, enhance your global awareness and watch carefully what your competitors are doing.

3. Performing. The role of a leader is to help everyone action their plans as productively and efficiently as possible. To get better at executing what you plan, learn how to personally lead the charge, empower people to make good decisions on their own initiative, find ways to innovate in everything your company does and keep selling your ideas and objectives as well as your products and services.

4. Forecasting. One of your key responsibilities as a leader is to be looking down the road and laying the foundation for a promising future for your organization. In particular, you need to see the big picture and be on target with your decisions. To forecast better, learn how economic, political and technology developments as well as changes in global trade patterns and trends will impact what your organization does in the future.

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