Are you a strategic thinker?

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Let’s first of all consider what a strategic thinker is, and why it is so important!

When you start to think strategically, you are looking to create meaningful plans and goals to both develop your people, but also linked to the future leadership and success of the business. What new trends, opportunities or threats may happen in the short, medium & long term? Are you prepared and can you take advantage of them?

As a Leader, you have to manage the “now” but also plan to succeed in the future and consider what you need to be doing right now, in readiness.
To become a strategic thinker, you need to look to develop the following skills:

  • Self- reflection. Look back on events and experiences, and use the knowledge to better plan for the future…what have you learned?
  • Regularly seek feedback and understand current challenges. Always find the time to speak with your people across the business. This way, you can be pro-active, and not reactive, in terms of decision making.
  • Ignore distractions. Don’t get bogged down with trivia, and delegate to and empower your teams. Focus on the higher priorities that will have the biggest impact upon your business.
  • Regularly review your goals and plans. These can relate to you professionally, and also the business. Are your teams focused on the right things, and understand how they can influence the business?
  • Be decisive. Pull together the information that you need, involve your people, and make decisions accordingly. Show confidence but when needed, recognize that a change of plan may sometimes have to happen. The key again is the communication of and rationale.
  • Make sure that you have the right people. As a Leader, you should be focusing on a macro level, and not micro, but…have you got the right people in the right places? Have they got the right skills, and are you regularly looking to both develop them, and also that they have the relevant skills as the business grows and develops?
  • What roles will be necessary in the future? Linked to the previous point, do you need to change people’s roles, create new roles, to be equipped to manage in a fast-changing business environment?
  • What are your values & vision? Your values reflect the culture, while your vision provides direction and purpose…these should be understood by all and will help them to make the right decisions in all that they do!

While the now is important, the future, is equally so…something a strategic thinker recognizes.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
Benjamin Franklin