“Paid to Think: A Leader’s Toolkit for Redefining Your Future” Book Review

Posted by Kristin Arnold on February 18, 2020

Amazon, in all it’s infinite AI wisdom, recommended the book, “Paid to Think: A Leader’s Toolkit for Redefining Your Future” –  presumably because I have a keen interest in critical thinking and decision-making.

I had NO IDEA that it was over 700 pages long!  It is literally a tome of all the knowledge David Goldsmith has learned as a consultant and entrepreneur.
The premise is simple: Leaders are paid to think – yet many don’t know how to do it well.  Goldsmith has created four quadrants of “Enterprise Thinking:”  Strategizing, Learning, Performing, and Forecasting.


Yes, some of it his models are simplistic (the Cyclonic Strategic Thinking Model), well-known (Critical Path Method), or obvious (do we really need to have a model to explain the “daily planning cycle”?).  And therein lies the brilliance of this book – he takes the complex and makes it extremely simple.


I don’t recommend reading this book from cover to cover.  It’s just too dense. Read the first chapter first and then see what is of interest to you – jump around from topic to topic – so that you can “make better, faster, and more accurate decisions that will ultimately lead to improved outcomes with less risk, waste, and mistakes.” 

KRISTIN ARNOLD, MBA, CPF, CSP is a high-stakes meeting facilitator and professional panel moderator.  She’s been facilitating teams of executives and managers in making better decisions and achieving greater results for over 20 years.  She is the author of the award-winning book, Boring to Bravo: Proven Presentation Techniques to Engage, Involve and Inspire Audiences to Action.

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