In his book On Becoming a Leader, Warren Bennis says, “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.”
I love this quote!
It emphasizes the importance of leaders thinking and acting strategically.
The more senior you become as a leader, the more important it becomes to be strategic.
However, there are two issues that I see regularly when working with leaders:
- Most leaders do not know what it means to be strategic.
- Most leaders don’t carve out time to be strategic.
Let me address these two issues.
1. Defining strategy.
While the thought of “being strategic” might seem daunting, it’s not really that complex or mysterious. But what you must know is that strategy has three parts:
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.
Which of these areas are you currently implementing well?
Which of these areas needs improvement?
2. Carving out time to be strategic.
I am a big fan of putting processes in place. My suggestion is that in January, you set up four meetings a year (one each quarter) to set and review your strategic goals for the year. These meetings can literally be one-hour. Don’t overcomplicate things. Rather, ensure that your meetings are booked in advance and take action to implement your strategic goals.
So, now that you understand the “what” and “how” of being strategic, what action do you need to take to translate your vision into reality?