Strategy thinking is an essential element of leadership. In this chapter, I’ll explain why and give you some tips for improving your strategic thinking and planning skills.
Strategy is simply long-term planning with a fancy name. You have a goal in mind and then you map out a step-by-step plan to achieve it. If you want it to work, your strategy must be logical and practical. Each step you take should build to the next step.
Without strategy, it’s very difficult – maybe even impossible – to achieve your biggest goals. You might have the goal to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Your strategy might include getting an MBA and a host of other steps that will put you in a position to achieve that goal.
The thing about strategy is that it’s not just for you. Having a strategy in place can help you get investors to fund your company, and it can also help you inspire your team.
Tips for Improving Your Strategic Thinking and Planning Ahead
Some people have a natural gift for strategic thinking. They’re the people who are great chess players and who naturally seem to see everything 10 steps ahead.
If you’re not one of them, don’t worry. Here are some tips to help you improve your strategic thinking.
- Before you make any decision, think about some possible outcomes and brainstorm what you’ll do next with each one. This is the kind of practical thinking that can help you become a better strategist.
- Think about your goals and work backwards to figure out what actions will help you achieve them. Think of this as reverse-engineering a strategy.
- Ask team members and trusted friends for suggestions to help you plan strategically.
- Try creating a timeline to plan each step on the way to your goal.
The more you practice strategic thinking, the easier it will be.