What sets a leader apart from a manager is first and foremost the strategic thinking.
Strategic thinking is the ability to think in the long and short term, and into the past and the present. Strategic thinking becomes increasingly essential as you ascend the corporate ladder.
Leaders like Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey, Coco Chanel or Martin Luther King had a vision and they all have worked towards it.
How do you improve your strategic thinking?
- Observe and look for trends. Be proactive about connecting with people in and outside your organization to understand their observations of the marketplace (remember my previous tip on networking? )Then, share your findings across your network.
- Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions
- Sound strategic: Pay attention to the words you use. Take a step back and try to see the bigger picture. Do not always think only about your team or department, think also about your organization as a whole.
- Finally, block some time in your agenda to think. It may seem like a waste of time, but it’s your ‘ME time’, just as important – or even more – as other meetings. During that time, pause, take a step back, reflect.
One tip I was also given was to play chess (or learn how to play it). This will also help you develop your strategic thinking skills.
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