Nail Down Your Strategy
I love to work with executives who want to make a bigger impact in their worlds. They care about their teams and the people they work with; they are really smart; they succeed in many facets of their work; and they want to continue to grow as leaders. Generally, they want support with building a stronger internal brand; creating cultures where their teams feel valued and their work matters; enhancing relationships with their peers; and communicating effectively with their boards.
And, there is one silent constant that ultimately surfaces with all of them – they lament about their lack of time to “be more strategic.” The fire drills, , constant video calls that have replaced the periodic office drop-in conversations due to the pandemic, demands from their boss, and more … all of these seem to leave no time to think, to plan, to be more strategic.
So, what to do? One approach may be to block off a set amount of time on your calendar when you know your energy is highest and your head is clearest; and, most importantly, to hold that time as sacred. Don’t fall into the trap of treating it as free time by convincing yourself that you’ll only answer this one call or respond to this one email. It’s a slippery slope.
Another approach may be to shift your definition of “being strategic.” Many leaders define strategy primarily as a future-oriented thing that must be figured out – the five-year strategic plan, next year’s budget requests, talent succession steps to figure out. Yes, each of those are critical to a company’s future. And so is the way you facilitate your team’s weekly meeting, the discussion with your boss about a struggle you’re having, and the customer note you write thanking them for their business … instead of winging it or diving into the execution of the action prior to thinking, pause. Take a deep breathe. Think about your intention and the impact that you want to have in each of these actions. That’s time spent being strategic.
This Week: Write down all of things that you define as strategic. Look at your January calendar and identify tactical things on your list that support one (or more) of the strategic things you wrote down. Widen your definition of strategic and be confident that always have time to be strategic.
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