Strategic leadership is a critical success factor for your business, and you can increase your competence in this vital area by cultivating a few core strengths.
Most business leaders are so focused on daily operations and tactical decision-making that they fail to engage in strategic thinking. In fact, statistics show that more than 90% of leaders are so caught up in reacting to immediate crises that they neglect their long-term business strategy.
However, developing and implementing a long-term strategy is vital to your organization’s growth: It is often what separates successful businesses from failed enterprises.
In a hectic business climate, it can be difficult to focus on strategy. But you can do it if you strengthen your strategic thinking skills and incorporate them into every-day decision-making.
In a recent Forbes, leadership expert Kate Beatty provides some tips for sharpening your strategic focus:
- Get a broad perspective: Beatty recommends taking a broad view by making sure you consider external and industry data that affects your company. It’s also important to identify challenges, key stakeholders and possible biases that may cloud your judgment. Finally, focus your thinking by identifying the single most important factor that could change your results – this will help you form your strategic plan.
- Be decisive despite the chaos: A well-conceived plan is a necessary component of strategic thinking, but there’s no substitute for decisive action. Beatty notes that good strategists balance tactical decisions with long-term goals and empower their people to take measured risks. She recommends evaluating factors that may keep you from acting on possible solutions to get a clearer picture of the barriers to success.
- Bring others into the strategic process: Leadership is about building consensus and aligning assets to support shared goals. According to Beatty, effective strategic leaders clearly articulate a vision, align all stakeholder activities with the strategic objective and secure buy-in by involving others in the strategy-building process.
In summary, strategic leaders are strengthened by a broad perspective, the ability to act decisively and the willingness to solicit internal and external stakeholder support to achieve their mission. Women business leaders can obtain a key competitive edge by developing these core strategic leadership strengths.
Read Kate Beatty’s complete Forbes article, The Three Strengths Of A True Strategic Leader