If you’ve heard people talking about ‘becoming more strategic’ or even telling you that you need to become more strategic, but have no idea where to start – this guide is for you!
If you’ve worked your way up the ranks, you’re very likely to have been told what to do… a lot! You’ll have had good bosses and bad bosses. Some you’ve enjoyed working for and some less so. And if you’ve been lucky, you’ll have worked for one or two who’ve stood out above all the others.
These bosses have made you feel empowered, positive and motivated. Who have given you ownership of a target and who have trusted you to deliver using your own style. Who have had an ability to see the bigger picture and who have helped you understand how you fit in. In all likelihood, this person was a very strategic thinker and used a strategic leadership approach.
Operational leaders tend to give step by step instructions to their teams, telling you exactly what you need to do to get that job done, and the focus is often inwards on the organisation. This can be an important part of the organisation as sometimes things have to just be done. But this doesn’t give people to use their own creativity to carry out their role, and it can create quite a repetitive, boring working environment – no-one benefits from having bored teams!
Strategic leaders think about how to create your own future, your organisation’s future and your team’s future. The focus is much more outwards on customers, competitors and trends. This makes it easier to spot new opportunities and identify how to bring them into your business. You share your vision for your end goals with your team and then give them responsibility for their part. Trusting your team will create a much more fun, creative, exciting environment for them and you to work in.
Being a strategic leader means needing to focus on multiple facets of the business, instead of just a single area, and are often involved in driving significant organisational change. A strong strategic leader also needs to be able to make those difficult decisions that affect the business well into the future – as well as meeting current demands.
A PRACTICAL Framework For Becoming More strategic
Step 1: Define the vision for your business
- Current vision / goals / targets?
- How will your customers change?
- What do your customers need? (Interview business leaders to find out how they would like to see the chamber develop, what are their barriers / targets / strategies)
- How will your services change?
- What are other businesses doing?
- What are the trends in your industry?
- What are your organisation’s strengths and weaknesses and what does your organisation want to develop?
Step 2: Understand what you do today: Document your current operational role
- Identify your current responsibilities
Step 3: Understand where you want to get to: Define your strategic leadership role
- What will you do to help your business reach this vision?
- How are you going to innovate?
Step 4: Make your vision a reality: Develop a personal plan
- What will you need to stop doing / continue doing / start doing?
- What skills and tools will you need to do this?
- What will you need to communicate to your team and to your customers?
There are many benefits of becoming a strategic leader. If you would like some help with this journey, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 01273 232 934