Strategic thinkers are not born, theyâ€™re made. Strategic thinking is a skill like any other and one that is highly valued by recruiters and executives. It is a key element of good leadership and can be inspiring and motivating. Thus, strategic thinking is a skill anyone can choose to learn and develop – if you want to.
If you want to get ahead and be seen as top talent, here are four qualities of strategic thinkers youâ€™ll want to cultivate.
1. Strategic Thinkers Never Stop Learning
One fundamental quality of strategic thinkers is curiosity. They always ask why or why not. They see possibilities everywhere and are always on the lookout for new information.
Strategic leaders commit themselves to learning from as many sources as possible. Itâ€™s about listening and learning from others, reading and getting as much as possible from events like networking and various conferences.
2. Strategic Thinkers Ask for Advice
People who are highly skilled strategic thinkers never fall into the trap of believing they know it all. They understand that thereâ€™s a whole world of experience and data out there to draw from. Therefore, they seek advice from others, they ask questions and they test ideas. They look out for constructive criticism to make sure their product or service is as robust as possible before itâ€™s unleashed on the world. It’s their inquisitive nature that pushes them to grow sustainably.
3. Strategic Thinkers Are Risk Takers
Successful people know that a certain amount of risk is necessary to get anywhere in this world. Innovation, problem-solving and excellence require a certain level of confidence, that risks failure. And strategic thinkers recognise that. They also accept that failure is part of the deal and offer an opportunity to refine and perfect; they learn and grow from every â€œfailureâ€.
4. Strategic Thinkers Always Stay Focused
Whatever else is going on, strategic thinkers never take their eye off the ball. They stay focused on the key objective of their project and business. Whether the company is an investment multinational, a one-person entrepreneur, or a not-for-profit organisation, the strategic leader stays true to the primary purpose of the organisation.
They know that if you lose your line of sight to the businessâ€™ core vision and mission that youâ€™re no longer being strategic.
Strategic thinking combines an ability to plan for the future, adapt to changing environments and circumstances and deal with challenges in a systemic manner. Hence, all organisations need strategic thinkers and you are in a position to become a powerful strategic thinker and an influential leader, if you devote time and energy to it!