First-hand observation pinpoints the defining attributes of leaders ready to make bold steps. Here’s my first tip. Get comfortable with the concept of strategy. The term is often used interchangeably with tactic when it is not. A strategy is directional. It sets your company’s future course of action or game plan. It is not a problem to be solved—a tactic— or an aspiration to be envisioned. That is a vision.
In my experience, most groups, regardless of title, are primarily comprised of tacticians and visionaries. The former typically outnumber the latter. The next time you participate in a strategy process, note where people’s brains naturally go. Are they inclined to see the world as a problem searching for a solution or a dream to grab?
You aim to be the person with a keen ability to connect the dots and see the future path. You will add tremendous value to the process and propel your career when you can think in multi-year segments and communicate the way forward. This skill is worth mastering. After all, a multi-year strategy involves risk-taking and a commitment to a chosen direction. Your ability to communicate the direction and align talent and resources to achieve it will be a sought-after skill regardless of your title or career goal.
This is Part 2 of a 4-part article. Stay tuned for the rest of this leadership series. Part 3 will be posted next week. Read the previous entry here.