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How do I wish a country´s president to think? (II). Mindset vs. Mental Framework at a Presidential Level.

Cognitive researchers use the concept of mental models to explain how people think. “A mental model is a deeply held group of internal images of how the world works. Each of us has mental models to think in this way or another manner. A frame concerns the structural core of people´s mental models. Each individual has their own personal mental models based on their education, culture, profession, and experience”.

eliescalante how do i wish a country´s president to think outline

Before going forward, let´s revisit the basic concepts:

Mental model: It is a representation of all the things we know in some area or domain. It is a knowledge structure, created over time that links the separate elements into a whole.  The core of the mental model, its deepest architecture is what we call the frame or framework. Mental models and frames are crucial for understanding and operating in the world day to day.  Mental models, especially their core frames, affect decision-making ability, communication effectiveness, negotiation skills, the potential for breaching ethics or not, competitive blind spots, interpersonal fluency, cross-cultural awareness, personal growth, depth and complexity of what people hold in their mindsets and how this connects with other mental models.

Mindset is not a mental model.  Mindsets are inherent components of our mental models, as it is the mental frame or mental framework, which is the core of our mental models. The concept of mindset is related to beliefs, which trigger attitudes and orient our reactions and tendencies. A mindset is a mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person’s responses to and interpretations of situations. When our mindsets become habitual, they define who we are, and who we can become. A famous Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck (2006) wrote a book called:  “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success”, and she brought different mindsets contrasting different beliefs about where our abilities come from.

Mental Frame or Mental Framework: As mentioned previously, it is the core of the mental model.  Think of the frame or core as you think of the structural frame of a house in relation to the completed and furnished home. The frame determines the core elements of mental models. A person may have multiple mental frames as a result of his or her different experiences in life.

After understanding the basic concepts, our theme of today is about understanding why is so important to grasp what is the mental framework of a future president of a nation? This is a basic thing we have to ask ourselves when we see potential candidates running for the Presidential chair.  Each candidate who is applying for this position has one mental model and several mental frames.  The mental framework of a country´s top leadership position has to be an integrated set of mental frames.

The mental model of each of the candidates is based on their education, culture, profession, and experience.  And once he or she is elected as a President, he or she has to change his or her mental frameworks to think like a President.  For example, if a presidential candidate comes from the corporate context, as soon as he or she is elected as a president, his or her mental frames have to change. It is like changing the chip of your mobile. Why?

millennialsThe presidential leader´ mental model has to be at one level of development which could be suitable to arrange complex elements from central to peripheral, and as such organize and clarify his or her thinking in moments of “crisis or pressure or disruption”. Since the mental model can also limit the perception of the problems, he or she has to rely on his team to make things happen.  Each presidential candidate has one way to see things, how to interpret facts, and how to explain him-herself to others, how to understand what we tell them, which actions to take and what standards of performance are set.  All this dynamic flow of “decision making” is done by the President´s mental model.

A good presidential leader is the one that has been able to develop a repertoire of mental frames. This means he or she was groomed to be able to learn the elements of each of his past experience positions and education and is able to align each of his or her mental frames with, what they mean to people who use them. “”He or she has the ability to lead others with different mental frameworks, aligning them all together at all levels and in all areas.

This last argument brings us to a basic fundamental aspect to consider when choosing a president. He or she must be ready to be a president. It takes years of experience in several situations to develop a repertoire of mental frames required for this specific position. Each past position of a presidential candidate is an experience for him or her to incorporate all that knowledge into a new mental frame.  A candidate without at least 30 years of work experience after his-her university school is finished, is not suitable to be a president. In one phrase, a good presidential candidate must have between 55-60 years old at minimum. Below that age, the brain of the president doesn´t have enough mental frames, which grant him or her to lead the future of a nation.

Eliescalante how do I wish a country´s president to think mental framework.jpg

The president of a country needs to have multiple mental frames in his or her brain because he will influence many ministers of different backgrounds to act successfully in relation to a nation´s long-term plan. There are several frames which a presidential candidate has to have a minimum of discernment about:

  1. Temporal frame
  2. His-her country´s economic industries frame
  3. Technology frame
  4. Strategy frame
  5. Social frame
  6. Institutional Policy frame
  7. Organizational frame
  8. Geographic frame
  9. Spatial frame
  10. Cultural frame
  11. Political frame
  12. Environmental frame
  13. Ethical frame and the
  14. Financial frame
  15. Diplomacy-international relations frame
  16.  His-her own professional frame / his or her personal background.
  17. God´s centered life

In order to have a well-developed brain for a Presidential position, any candidate must be trained by work-experience in each of these 16 mental frames plus the most important: A God´s centered life. This basically implies that he or she should have had at least 2 years of work experience in each of the frames above through several positions where she or he can learn each of the latter frames. Once he or she is ready, he or she would be proficient to lead a team of experts for each category, because he or she will be capable of framing skills. Identifying, challenging and reconstructing mental frames are skills of value to work productively in cross-cultural situations, make better decisions with minimum resources, understand the political actors without attacking them, and stick to the priorities of the nation without consenting into corruption. The brain of the president must be prepared for it, particularly under times of crisis, disruption or pressure.

We will stop here, and will continue with our next sub-topic “Good thinkers are on demand for a President Position”.

Thank you.bee


Source references utilized to define the concepts:

“Frames of Mind: The core of mental Models”. Schoemaker, Paul, and Russo, Edward. 1994.

Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.





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