Many believe that strategic thinking is something you’re born with. It may be true like in case of any other skills in sports, musical instruments, public speaking, but personally I feel that is a skill you can master with a lot of practice and lot of learning.
So what is strategy? its not knowing how to get to the goal , its about the goal itself and why the goal needs to be set. Do you clearly know, why your company goals are set? Then you are probably a strategic thinker too.
Strategic thinkers share many characteristics, lets check your potential:
Are you naturally curious?
When brainstorming or thinking to yourself, do you keep asking yourself, ‘what if ‘? Strategic Thinkers not only, ask ‘what if’ but are able to link all these ‘what ifs’ and are able to almost see into the future. Thereby staying ahead of the competition, and knowing their moves before they even make it, like in chess. This natural curiosity enables them to find opportunities and spot trends, when the same for everyone else is just information.
Can you see through clutter?
When your team/company is faced with a complex problem, are you able to find simple yet creative solutions? Strategic thinkers are able to see clearly through the haze, finding hidden pathways and right short cuts, when all others have either turned off their engines or are revving up to make a dash. The key is the ability to find simple solutions.
Do you adapt crazy ideas?
You must not have a bias to your own preconceived ideas. Instead strategic thinkers, are open to others thoughts, advices and ideas, even the crazy ones. This makes it possible for you to think of options beyond what is the present reality. And then choose the right idea and path with the least resistance and confusion, for your company.
Do you focus on what’s important or on what’s urgent?
As a strategic thinker, you will have the inclination to focus only on what’s important, and that too at things which are beyond the visible horizon. With this foresight, you will be working on what your company should do when that time arrives. Not that you don’t have to care about what’s urgent, but you have your entire workforce to look into the urgent topics.
Do you know the upcoming risks and obstacles?
Strategic thinkers appear to be risk takers, but what’t not visible is that they are calculated risks. You must be able to see their repercussions more clearly than your colleagues. You usually don’t take a plunge into the ocean and then think about the sharks or the fact that you don’t know how to swim! So you always carefully consider the downside to every risk or obstacle, making you more prepared and ready for the your company’s journey.
Are you man of action or man of words?
Strategic thinkers, take actions boldly being confident in their actions, and don’t procrastinate or find excuses for not pursuing the path they chose. So instead of just talking about their dreams or just dreaming , they work to make their dreams come true. Strategic thinkers don’t sleep so that they can work on their dreams.
Is learning your passion?
Strategic thinkers love to learn, not because they have to its because they want to. Learning proactively, keeps them aware of the changes in the market and ecosystem, hence being able to strategize better than the others. They are the ones who have made learning a habit.
So how did you fare in these characteristics? if you feel you are running short in some of them , then start taking proactive actions to get more practice in them, and sooner or later you would be the next strategic thinker the world will talk about.