A recent Harvard Business Review article, highlights the complexity of becoming a strategic leader. It is so intricate a concept that a simple google search returns more than 344 million answers in 0.76 seconds!
The HBR author breaks down ‘being strategic’ to five questions. He believes that asking the right questions, in our ever increasingly complex world, holds the key to staying current, relevant, and successful. The questions, which build on each other, focus on how to become more strategic and successful as a team.
What are we doing today?
Why are you doing the work you’re doing? Why now?
How does what we’re doing today align with the bigger picture?
What does success look like for our team?
What else could we do to achieve more, better, faster?
I would suggest that to be truly strategic, we start by defining team success before we narrow the focus to individual success. Defining the strategic end state, whether an internal or external metric or milestone, creates the focal point for all future activities. We then benchmark today’s work tasks, prioritizing today’s work, and assessing achievements logged today against the team’s success metrics.
It’s a core tactic we employ at Velocity. We focus on relationships first, with our customers and our people, and enhance those relationships with transparency and accountability that withstand the test of time.
Our Velocity team is successful when our customers are satisfied. That is our highest strategic focus. All of our daily activities are centered around this core goal, and we are continuously asking ourselves what else we can do to achieve more, better and faster for our customers. In order for you to be strategic, all of your efforts must be focused here, albeit within the confines of operating a for-profit business, and you, like us, should review how what you do today aligns with this bigger picture every morning.
That is what being a strategic leader is all about.