Level Six Thinking & The Archway Effect


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Why doesn’t the smartest kid in class grow up to be the most successful? Does the American educational system really teach thinking skills? The answer to these questions is found in what’s known as “The Archway Effect”— a model in which an inflow of people goes toward an archway that represents an institution of higher learning. From that archway emerges an outflow of intelligent people. Conventional wisdom tells us that passing through the archway results in intelligence. However, most universities don’t produce brilliant graduates because of the excellence of their teaching, but rather because they accept only brilliant students. The fact is, most universities show no proof that they’ve taught these students to think at all. To date, no one has been able to use grade point averages, SAT scores or even IQ as predictors of success. Intelligence is not enough.

The business community acts in the same manner. Businesses recruit college graduates from elite universities, assuming that these intelligent people will be the most successful employees. They quickly learn that the majority of the recruits, though intelligent, have not developed their potential through effective thinking skills. They’re intelligent, but they’re not smart.

Level Six Thinking is about being smart. Level Six Thinking is about generating alternatives and solving problems. Fluency, articulation and debating, which are tools of thinking, are often mistaken for thinking itself. All that these tools accomplish is simply a flow of logic that allows one person to prove another wrong, and thereby, themselves right. The inadvertent result of logic is to limit options and miss alternative solutions, whereas the purpose of Level Six Thinking is to increase the range of possible solutions through exploration. It may appear that Level Six Thinking attacks logic, but only with the intent of highlighting and using the perception side of thinking.

Critical Thinking and Scholarly Thinking are the two most common methods for solving problems. Critical Thinking is easy and concrete; Scholarly Thinking is neat, orderly, and linear. Critical and Scholarly Thinking have their place, but it’s been demonstrated that we have sufficient skills in these areas. What’s required is Level Six Thinking—L6 Thinking is practical, creative and productive. L6 Thinking enables people to take constructive and immediate action, even with incomplete and imperfect information. People who attain the Level Six Thinking are smart.

You can learn how you can overcome The Archway Effect through Level Six Performance: A Gold Medal Formula for Achieving Professional & Personal Success published by Champion Press.

Proving through his work with champion athletes and corporate executives that leadership and high performance are learned skills built upon inherent strengths, Dr. Stephen Long has helped permanently raise corporate and team productivity from adequate - to outstanding. Level Six Leadership™ is a breakthrough social operating system that immediately enhances an organization’s efficiency. Applying his coaching and leadership techniques, Long’s instruction has helped Fortune 500 companies realize a 125% increase in productivity. Long’s method proves performance relies more on learned, deliberate competence much more than natural cognitive ability. Using Level Six Leadership™ techniques, organizations can adapt to stressful and changing business situations as well as any championship team in overtime. Identified as a top-10 performance enhancement specialist in North America in an independent study conducted at the University of Utah, Dr Long is a highly sought after speaker, consultant, executive coach and trainer.


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