Enhance Your Strategic Acumen
A lot of people are great
at strategic thinking. Others are rock stars when executing against a strategy.
Great leaders can do both! Truly stellar leaders are big-picture thinkers who
understand the value of strategy and are capable of crafting solutions that
address short-range, mid-range, and long-range problems. Great leaders are also
savvy at designing and implementing cohesive, interconnected actions that
effectively address any business challenge.
Is there room for you to
improve your strategic thinking or strategic agility? If so, studying strategy,
capitalizing on opportunities to execute, and taking on the habits of those who
do it well can accelerate your acumen. Enhancing your strategic acumen is a
strategy in and of itself; a means for increasing your leadership impact and
sharpening your company’s competitive edge.
Here are three tactics to help
you think with strategic acumen, and be more effective in your execution:
Read about strategy.
There are great books out
there, offering wisdom on strategic thinking as well as tips on effective
execution. Look for Tim Collins’s “Good to Great;” Larry Bossidy’s “Execution:
The Discipline of Getting Things Done;” and Peter Drucker’s “The Effective Executive:
The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done.” Seek out online
business webinars, seminars at industry conferences, or online classes on topics
that will improve strategic acumen.
Spot opportunities to improve while on the job.
Where do you want to go — and
what needs to happen, to ensure you get there? Look for ways to think
strategically at your current job. Consider what you want to achieve, as well
as how you could make it happen. Then, outline tactical actions that must take
place to support your big-picture direction. Give your action items a definite time-frame
for completion, and start executing.
Model an expert.
Do you know someone that is
excellent at strategy; both strategic thinking and execution? Pay attention,
and note what this person does to be consistently successful. What kind of
leadership do they model? What habits do they practice — or purposefully avoid?
If you’re not sure what gives your role model such good strategic acumen, try
to initiate a conversation about it. Take them to lunch, or coffee, and ask
them to explain their leadership technique. Then, build a strategy that’s
specific to improving this area of your leadership—and commit to implementing
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about strategic acumen? Share your insights, opinions and tips with other MAP leaders today!