First, I’ll be up front. I am a global thinker. That is not to say that linear thinking is wrong; it is simply different. I would not employ an accountant who was a global thinker (I’m looking at you Arthur Anderson).
So what is the difference? Let’s look at vacations as an example. Do you like vacations where your daily activities and excursions are planned out for you. Do you find comfort in knowing that “oh we must finish lunch now if we are going to make the 2pm tour bus to the botanical gardens”. If so, you are probably a linear thinker. Linear thinkers prefer that A must be completed before you should start on B. Happy mathematicians and accountants are Linear Thinkers, unlike our friends in the Arthur Anderson company. A global thinker, by contrast, would most likely go on vacation and see what happens, try a new restaurant that they happen upon, and even engage locals. To keep this balanced, I will say that global thinkers are probably more prone to food poisoning.
When assembling a new piece of furniture from IKEA, a global thinker will dump out all the contents on the floor and try to assemble the pieces like a jigsaw puzzle. Pro Tip: if the screw you have chosen to put two pieces together does not go in easily it probably isn’t the right screw. When driving a rental car and realizing you don’t know how to open the gas tank cover, a global thinker will look and test every button while the linear thinker will look at the booklet in the glove-compartment.
While certain situations are best dealt with by linear thinkers, others need a wider view that only global thinkers can conceive. Global thinkers are much better at receiving “new information” and make much better philosophers and fiction writers. Come to think of it, if money is important to you, then you should probably marry a linear thinker.