Ways of the Strategic Thinker

By Bart Icles

These days, we are consistently challenged by rapid changes that most of the time bring in opportunities that are beyond compare. Oftentimes, advantageous and sustainable growth comes to those organizations whose leaders are able to see potentials way past their conventional stakeholders. Strategic thinking has become more popular more recently, as it has proven to be an effective approach in reaching the goals set by an organization.

Leaders nowadays try to learn how they can become effective strategic thinkers. In doing so, knowing the traits that can make you a successful strategic thinker can be to your advantage. Foremost is having a vision. Strategic thinkers must be able to see what lies ahead and must be able to identify their strategic purpose. You can think of a strategic thinker as a visionary who has a good grasp of what to expect from the future. Along with this, strategic thinkers must also have clear ideas of targets and goals. These must then be frequently reviewed to ensure that your line of thinking is validated.

Efficient time management is a trait that every strategic thinker must possess. Strategic thinkers often place high value to time as this is one factor that they must deal with as they work their way through the achievement of their objectives. With strategic time management, you are able to give enough time and focus to the needs of your organization, as well as those of your own.

Strategic thinkers are patient. As you plan out what you need to do as face the challenges posed by the changing times, it is important that you remember that strategic thinking is not just about today, tomorrow, next week or the next couple of weeks - strategic thinking is about thinking of the long-term.

It is also important that strategic thinkers do not cease to learn. Strategic thinkers must be able to accept that continuous learning contributes to the constant discovery of opportunities. Experiences must be utilized in the continuous improvement of the strategic thinker. As you learn, you must keep an open mind and keep yourself from constantly passing judgment on how others think as they try to come up with ideas. Seeking advice and views from others is also crucial. Strategic thinking works best when it involves team effort.

Most importantly, you must remember that strategic thinking is not synonymous with wishful thinking. Keep your goals and objectives realistic - see to it that they can be achieved in the long term. Strategic thinkers do not expect much from the future but what they deliver often exceeds expectations.

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