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How to Become a More Strategic Executive

When aiming to increase your strategic leadership ability, it may be your actions, rather than just merely brainstorming ideas, which will lead you to the most effective strategies.

Strategy for execs - laptop planning graphic

When most executives have achieved their spot within the higher ranks of an organization, they have most likely become familiar with a basic strategic agenda, whether an executive development or educational program, an advanced degree, corporate training, or on-the-job instruction.  While these types of success plans can be applied within almost any industry or trade, utilizing this same philosophy later in their career, is where many executives may ultimately lose their way.

Learn the specifics of your industry to create an effective strategy.

True strategic thinking is anything but generic.  While you may have accomplished great feats thus far through a standard approach, it is crucial that as an executive, you discover how to hone in on the specifics of your strategy according to your individual industry.  Strategies have no clear end and are always evolving; therefore executives must research, analyze, and understand the inner workings and individual components of their industry in order to realize what makes it work as a complete entity. Considering customized executive educational seminars and courses, as well as locating the vast array of dedicated literature pertaining to strategies in specific industries is an advantageous and realistic way for executives to create winning tactics for their own organizations.  Taking everything and everyone into consideration, from employees to stakeholders, as well as identifying possible industry disrupters, is also vital to your ultimate strategy for success.

Strategy for execs - completing a maze

Look beyond your own office circle. 

An effectively strategic leader understands that they require a vast network of viable and well-intentioned contacts and peers who will help guide them in keeping a larger perspective of their industry.  Being aware and open to new innovations and trends that may potentially restructure their business is mandatory when forming practical and precise strategies.   While most of us possess an immediate network of personal contacts and business connections based on familiar interests, backgrounds or work history, strategic leaders must learn to take these connections a step further by actually using our influence to connect potentially unrelated resources, individuals, and initiatives, and create something larger and more influential. Creating “conversation rooms” through constructive blogging or simply organizing meet-ups or luncheons can help tie these ends together.

Develop organized communication methods.

There are few aspects of running a business that don’t involve effective communication skills, and strategizing is certainly not exempt.  An effective strategic method requires regular scheduled communication sessions on all executive levels.  Addressing potential roadblocks and possible solutions must be done on a weekly basis, no matter the industry or size of the company.  There is a certain amount of regulation involved in this method of communication, as it is tempting for a CEO to pass on a meeting during a busy week if the strategy seems to be operating well.  However, without consistent involvement from all affected leaders, potential glitches and oversights are more likely.   Learn and devise ways to make your communication methods more interactive in their decipherability. For example, creating pertinent visuals where executives and board members can clearly observe any progress and setbacks within the strategy is a proactive way to streamline and further effectualize your communication technique.

Summary

When forming successful strategies, it is vital that executives not only include a large and diversified network with whom they remain in regular communication, but also keep an open mind to the available tactical possibilities specific to their industry, as well as their own personal capabilities as strategic leaders.

Fred Coon, CEO

 

Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200


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