“Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude” – Zig Ziglar
Strategic thinking is a powerful tool in the leadership of an organization. It gives them the foresight and insight needed for success over the long term when applied throughout the organization.
Employees and people in general, value leaders who are not focused solely on solving the problem of today but are looking to the future as well. Leaders plan ahead and figure out what needs to be done today, tomorrow and in the years ahead to get there.
There are many opportunities to use and improve strategic thinking and leadership skills every day. By learning to practice problem-solving at every stage of a project you build your strategic thinking skills. Good leaders ask others for their input on problems and consider other solutions.
Giving constructive feedback to team members along the way helps them understand what’s working or not as well as a chance to use the insight right away. By doing this, your team members respect you and trust you to help them do the right thing.
When you improve your strategic thinking skills and implement those skills with others, you become a better communicator. Effective communication is a top attribute of a leader who is a strategic thinker. By developing good communication skills and being able to clearly describe what actions you want your team to take, you also unite everyone to work together.
Being a good communicator means having an open-door policy and having one-on-one meetings regularly with team members. You make yourself accessible to discuss anything.
Communication includes having good listening skills as well. It’s important to listen to what your employees or team members have to say. Leaders speak and hear well.
Employees need to know you hear their concerns and ideas. This helps build morale and makes your business better since you are getting input from people on the front.
Mark Twain said, “Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have rather talked.” A leader practices listening and gains the knowledge to solve problems, improve services or products, and build a stronger company atmosphere.
Strategic thinking leaders have a collaborative approach that creates transparency in the business. Being genuinely interested in collaborating with your team lets them know what you’re thinking and you know what they are thinking. This leads to trust.
A strategic thinking leader is forthright about their success, failures, and the reasons for choosing certain goals or plans over others. This level of honesty and responsibility earns the respect of their team and encourages the team to follow suit.
Passion and commitment show through in your enthusiasm for the project or your mission. This gets others excited because they see and feel your excitement.
Commitment is what gets the job done with the ability to stay focused on what you need to do to be successful. Showing your team that you are passionate and committed means doing the work alongside them. They see this, increasing their motivation and respect for you.
Improving your strategic thinking skills helps make you a better leader since your team members see you as being passionate and committed to your goal. They feel they can trust you because you are honest about the project or goal and all the ups and downs that go with it. Your open communication and good listening skills leave the door open for them to be able to come to you when they have problems or ideas.