I just had a conversation with a new client about a leadership program that I am developing for their organization.
She asked me this great question:
“Vanessa, what leadership skill do you think we should include in this program that is often overlooked?”
I said, “The area we should definitely focus on is strategy.”
Her question is an important one because it highlights a critical leadership competency that is often tricky for leaders to implement and develop.
Well, firstly, because most leaders don’t schedule time to be strategic.
Secondly, because many leaders don’t even know what “being strategic” means!
So, let me break it down for you.
Being strategic can be confusing because it is not just one activity, rather it’s a combination of three areas.
Here are the three parts of strategy:
- Strategic thinking: This is about taking the time to challenge your assumptions and think about better or more creative ways to work. It’s about challenging the status quo.
- Strategic planning: This phase of strategy is about taking your vision and creating a plan to implement it.
- Strategic implementation. This is about taking your plan and moving it into action.
While the thought of “being strategic” might seem daunting to some leaders, you can see that it’s not really that complex or mysterious.
Here are a few key questions that you can ask yourself to identify if you are being strategic:
- Do you consider the long-term impact of decisions that you make today?
- Do you put aside time in your calendar to focus on strategic planning?
- Do you facilitate semi-annual strategic planning meetings with your team?
- Do you develop and implement a strategic plan that provides your team with a clear direction for the future?
- Do you follow up with your team on their key deliverables that are aligned with your strategic plan?
So, how well are you strategically leading your team or business?
What are you currently doing well?
What can you do to be more strategic?