The strategic mindset is about more than just getting things done. it is about looking at things in a careful and thoughtful manner. It is about thinking beyond the simple day to day tasks sitting in front of you. It is about taking a disciplined and effective approach to thinking. The strategic mindset looks at being a better business owner or more effective employee. It is about thinking like a leader. The kind of strategic thinkers that thrive in today’s uncertain environment do several core things well:
Conventional wisdom may open you to fewer raised eyebrows and second guessing but if you take task, idea or plan at face value, your company may lose all of its competitive advantage. Critical thinkers question everything.
Instead of focusing solely on what’s at hand, strategic leaders look for information that is critical to staying ahead of the competition and builds networks to help see over the horizon. They also seek to try to best predict the course of their competitors’ actions.
A good strategic leader synthesizes information from many sources before developing a viewpoint. He or she seeks patterns in various data sources and questions prevailing assumptions.
Encourage Open Dialogue
A strategic leader must encourage open dialogue, build trust and engage key players. To do so, they try to understand what drives other people’s agendas and seek to always bring tough issues to the surface.
Learn From Successes and Failures
As your company grows, honest feedback is harder and harder to come by. You have to do what you can to keep it coming. This is crucial because successes and failures are valuable sources of learning. The strategic thinker will always seek to find the lessons in these.
While the list can be quite long, today’s leaders have several habits in common. Among those, they make concerted efforts to question often, anticipate the future, interpret and synthesize information while also encouraging open dialogue. They also seek to learn from successes as well as recognize the importance of learning from failures.