So many leaders are spending too much time on the operational, the tactical, the day-to-day. They’re therefore seriously neglecting the strategic picture—and potentially the future of their business!
These leaders are remiss about putting time aside to stand back and take a panoramic stance. They’re not asking questions like:
- These days what’s best practice in our field? Where could we be getting left behind?
- What dangers could be lurking around the corner that we need to know about?
- What sort of position could we eventually find ourselves in if we change nothing here?
This need for strategic leadership has come up in Leader Coaching discussions a lot lately. Why? I think because the business world, now more than ever, keeps quickly changing, tweaking, refining and adjusting to an ever-evolving reality.
Operational leadership simply isn’t enough, particularly now and from here on in. The pace of change we’re exposed to calls for a strategic stance.
What’s Stopping You From Adding More “Strategic” To Your Mix?
I know, occasionally you need to spend long periods of time being thoroughly operational because of a real business need—however that’s definitely not always the reason.
Here’s the all-important question…
Does your operational orientation come into play because of one or more of these reasons?
- You feel most comfortable with the operational.
- You don’t do so well at delegating—and you don’t have the time to strategise.
- You feel compelled to step in and involve yourself in your team member’s work so you’ll be confident that the targeted outcomes are met.
I’m sorry to say, none of these reasons are valid reasons for you to neglect the strategic.
How Long Is It Since You Stood Back And…
- Identified what’s currently getting in the way of your business from being at the top of its game—and then determined what critical shifts you need to make?
- Determined what your business will ideally look like around the corner?
- Discussed this future with your team of direct reports, and begun work on plans to create your agreed ideal?
It’s crucial that every so often you step away from the operational and take a birds-eye view of your business and the broader environment that it sits in. Failure to do so will, sooner or later, produce unacceptable costs!
By the way, I’m not suggesting here that you build an intricate five-year or even a one-year plan. My heart is in pushing the barrow for you to regularly extricate yourself from a day-to-day focus.
Your Leadership Call To Action
No matter what your title or role is your business will be crying out for you to regularly stand back and take a discerning, bigger-picture perspective.
If your natural bent is to focus on the operational and the tactical, it’s time to create a habit of considering what’s happening in your field from a birds-eye perspective.
What would it take for you to expand your comfort zone and relish the time you’ve allocated, say each month, to building your strategic thinking muscle and viewing your business from a strategic perspective?
If you’re not currently taking this strategic stance, take steps to get this handled. By the way, I don’t imagine for a minute that you don’t have the capacity to be strategic. It’s simply that, for whatever reason, you haven’t yet habituated some important approaches.
Consider Executive/Leader Coaching to help you develop your strategic muscle: With new tools and enhanced leadership practices, it’ll help you create the best possible future for your organisation.
Email me if you want to investigate how I could support you with this.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carolyn Stevens has worked with leaders for more than 25-years—hundreds of them.
She’s supported leader after leader (including those who previously struggled to confront the difficult, let alone persuasively deal with the it) flourish—and become confident, courageous and impressively influential.
Carolyn is authentic and results-oriented. She draws on an eclectic array of approaches, tools and techniques to suit the situation.