Thought Self-leadership: Cognitive Strategies for Managerial Effectiveness

Christopher P. Neck, Todd M. Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The organisational literature suggests a plethora of techniques available to managers to enhance their managerial effectiveness (e.g., planning tools, decision-making guidelines, etc.). However, an often-overlooked skill that could assist managers in overcoming obstacles in their daily jobs involves the self-management of their cognitive processes. In fact, a leading psychologist has written, “One of the most significant findings in psychology in the last twenty years is that individuals can choose the way they think,” (Seligman, 1991, p.8). It has been suggested that managers can better lead themselves and work more effectively with others by applying strategies that help them to manage or control their thoughts. More productive thinking and improved performance are the payoffs. This theory, labelled Thought Self-Leadership (TSL), centres on employees' establishing and maintaining constructive desirable thought patterns (Neck & Manz, 1992; Manz & Neck, 1991; Neck & Milliman, 1994). This perspective suggests that just as we tend to develop behavioural habits that are both functional and dysfunctional, we also develop habits (or patterns) in our thinking that influence our perceptions, the way we process information, and the choices we make in an almost automatic way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalManagement Research News
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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