Strategic Thinkers Ask “Why” and “When”

Five easy steps to avoid misunderstandings.

Talent Management Strategist

The Coaching Clinic Encouraging routine strategic thinking may be the most important thing you can do as a leader. It’s not an easy skill to teach or learn, because it is as much a mindset as a set of techniques – but it’s not impossible – especially if you apply a simple 5-step conversation model. One key is to ask powerful discovery questions. Using this 5-step conversation model consistently will reinforce a common conversation approach at all levels in the organization. Consider these ways to cultivate strategic thinkers (since they often make the most highly effective leaders):
  • Encourage people to ask “why” and “when.” Consistently asking these whenever a course of action is being considered enables people to fully understand the goal it aims to achieve and its impact.
  • Have managers set aside time for strategic planning discussions. Make it a regular part of their job, and connect them with mentors who excel…

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Everything Must Lead to Your Final Conclusion

Live to Write - Write to Live

Everything, absolutely everything must lead to your final conclusion.

This is “rule” I was teaching my Technical Writing students as we were discussing feasibility reports.

If the information is not necessary, don’t include it. If the information is too long (charts, graphs, tables) and takes away from the final message then either remove it or put it an appendix to be looked at later, but take it out of the report.

Never let anything get in the way of your final conclusion that should lead to an action. (A feasibility report usually looks at various scenarios and makes a recommendation on the best one based on presented facts.)

ConclusionWe discussed creating a feasibility report on the college getting a baseball field. First we brainstormed header topics and then put them into a preliminary order. Because most people are uncomfortable with money, the students put the “Cost” section near the bottom.

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Leadership Minute: Have Fun

Doug Dickerson on Leadership

fun

Fun is good. – Dr. Seuss

For all of the important and serious things that occupy a leaders day one thing worth mentioning is the need for fun. The price of leadership is great responsibility. And yet your temperament as a leader is important. It’s important not just for those around you but for yourself. Are you wound too tight? Would your colleagues agree? The decisions you make are serious but try not to take yourself too serious. Don’t forget to laugh. Remember that the troubles you have today are preparing you for better things tomorrow. Your ability to have fun along the way is just as necessary as any other decision you make. At the end of the day, whether good or bad, let it be said that you find it all most rewarding and fun. Life is just too short for you to be miserable as a leader…

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