Magic in the Room # 8: Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader

In this week’s episode, Luke, Hannah, and Chris explore the topic of acting like a leader versus thinking like a leader. They also ask the question, does leadership evolve from action or beliefs? For many, this will feel reminiscent of the chicken and egg brain teaser.

Do you think your way into being a leader? Do you have to have the right beliefs and the right thoughts? Is that what will prompt you to act like a leader? Or will you begin thinking more like a leader? If you start acting like a leader?

Chris Argyris, one of the pioneers in organizational psychology, had a concept called the ladder of inference. It’s an idea that describes the thinking process that we all go through without realizing it when we embark on a journey that takes us from fact to a decision or action. The team discusses how we are all surrounded by observable data. But choosing what is going to get our attention or focus, followed by the meaning that we add to that data will be based on our assumptions.

Chris Province explains his need for his team members to all feel seen, heard, and understood. But to the only way to unlock that ability is to ask the right questions. For Chris, the actions that benefit him the most is to seek feedback and recognize people’s character for contribution. 

Luke shares his passionate belief in caring about the success of his partners more than his own. She also reveals that you can’t do that unless you understand the parts of their business that no one’s taking the time to understand. Too many consultants show up and start talking about principles or technical fixes without taking the time to learn about the business. Only by doing this can you reflect and ask the right questions to the customer. 

There are leaders out there wondering what’s next for them and exploring how they can grow within their organization. Luke shares how having the same mindset, understanding more, and bringing that perspective to the table can help in thinking and acting like a leader.

Hannah describes herself as a thinker, and that has tendencies towards perfectionism. But her also her awareness around the importance of avoiding analysis paralysis and keep moving. For example, when launching a podcast wanted to learn as they went along as version one is better than version none. Hannah admits that if they had invested time figuring out the perfect format and way of doing this and become experts on this before they started it, the podcast wouldn’t be live today.


These are just a few reasons why Hannah is dedicated to bringing more movement and action into her life and one of the reasons why she a runner too. For Hannah, it’s about the actions that she takes every day and not getting stuck too long in the reflection mode, because she can get a little too comfortable there.

After listening to this podcast episode, we invite you to share your experiences of acting and thinking like a leader.

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