Are you a Strategic leader?

strategic leadership, strategic leaders

Strategic™ as a talent theme occurs frequently in the population, showing in the top 5 for 4 million of the 18 plus million people who have taken the Clifton Strengths® Assessment. That is a really great thing.

Why? As we learn from the full definition, the ability to sort through the clutter and find the best route is not a skill that can be taught.

Strategic leaders shine at establishing a path forward.

Just ask a leader with Strategic how they got to the plan forward and they will likely pause, reflect and then work through the various scenarios that led them to their conclusion. Strategic is a theme that I describe as fast and slow.

As someone with Strategic in my top 5, I will often ask for time and space to consider something. But once the desired outcome is clarified, I can get to a path forward very quickly. Oftentimes, more quickly than I can share or communicate with those around me.

People especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.

Sometimes Strategic leaders are misunderstood.

The above statement demonstrates how the strength of Strategic can be misperceived. When others aren’t aware of the strength (especially the possessor of the Strategic talent theme!), they are often seen as:

  • Difficult to understand their thinking
  • Jumps to quick conclusions
  • Closed minded

This last point is like nails on a chalkboard to someone with Strategic. Far from being closed minded, they have considered all the options they could conjure and landed on the best path forward…the one with the least resistance; the one that minimizes confusion.

Arghh…and to think that with all that Strategic, they end up being difficult to understand.

This is how a Strategic leader really yearns to be seen.

strategic leadership, strategic leaders

It is hard to be understood when you don’t fully understand yourself, and that is the rub with any natural talent. You swim in it all day without realizing that others see things differently.

To Strategic, the world looks like an offering of paths forward and the “best” one is easily seen – but only by Strategic! And frustration only mounts when others share how difficult you are to understand and that you are closed minded in your decision making.

With awareness and growing knowledge of how your strength of Strategic shows up, you’ll come to be regarded as someone who:

  • Anticipates alternatives
  • Is intuitive
  • Sees different paths

Yes! Now that is how Strategic yearns to be seen.

Watch the magic happen when Strategic partners with others.

Strategic often shows up with Ideation and Learner. Ideation can serve to magnify the number of paths forward seen. Learner can have a similar impact and can also slow the rapidity of Strategic by causing a pause to gather more insight on the situation or possible paths forward.

A good partner to Strategic can often be Analytical or Context. Analytical can serve to poke holes in the various paths forward and provide options and risk mitigation that Strategic did not consider. Context pulls from past experience to fill in gaps of understanding about the situation and again, things that might not have been considered looking at the now situation.

In leadership, it’s all about being aware and appreciative of everyone’s talents.

strategic leadership, strategic leaders

It always comes back to an awareness and appreciation of natural talents. Each one of us experiences the world through a unique lens determined primarily by our top 5 talent themes. Think about this for just a quick moment: what could knowing your top 5 reveal for you?

What if your team knew the talents that were gathered around the table? Then, the clashes would transform into the magic of increased productivity, innovative problem-solving, creative new ideas…and so much more!

Check out the presentation or workshop on Talent at the Table: Real World Strategies that Accelerate Your Performance.

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