Season 4, Episode 10: How Do You Know if You Are a Strategic Thinker?
Play • 20 min

In Season 4 of the Drink Like a Lady Podcast, we have focused on how to kickstart the process if you need to lay out strategy. We also shared how that strategy worked at Spanx and Amazon. In this final episode of Season 4, we offer up SIGNS that you are, in fact, a strategic thinker. And steps you can take to make your strategic thinking skills BETTER.

HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE A STRATEGIC THINKER?

Here are some signs that you're a strategic thinker:

  • Spending time in self-reflection: If you frequently find yourself reflecting on your work, completed tasks or experiences that you wish had gone differently, then you likely are a strategic thinker. One of the characteristics of strategic thinkers is reflecting on events and experiences and then using that knowledge to impact your future performance.


  • Asking a lot of questions: Strategic thinkers try to understand context and avoid problems that could arise ensuring everyone involved understands what they need to do and why. Strategic thinkers ask questions about why an issue is important, what key factors led to a decision, what outcome is most desirable and who it will impact.


  • Compartmentalizing distractions: If you are a strategic thinker, you likely are effective at compartmentalizing your responsibilities and minimizing distractions to focus on whatever priority is most relevant and highest.


  • Setting regular goals: Strategic thinkers often set performance goals for themselves in order to continue progressing professionally.


  • Demonstrating decisiveness: Strategic thinkers understand the importance of being decisive in their decision-making. They efficiently gather information and then make a decision based on that information. They recognize that reaching decisions and being decisive takes both knowledge and confidence.


  • Welcoming to feedback: Another sign that you're a strategic thinker is that you are collaborative with others and open to feedback in order to improve your abilities.


  • Enjoying helping others: Strategic thinkers often enjoy helping others to perform at their best and achieve their fullest potential. They recognize that it's important to help everyone overcome challenges in order to reach company-wide goals.


  • Planning long-term career goals: If you are someone who regularly imagines where you will be professionally in one or even five years and begin taking the steps to get to where you need to be, then you likely are a strategic thinker.

Here are the steps you need to take to further develop your strategic thinking skills:

1. Pause and reflect

The first step you need to take to improve your strategic thinking skills is to commit to slowing down and spending time reflecting on a situation. To ensure you do this regularly, you may want to schedule time each day or week to actively spend time just thinking. 

2. Gain experiences and ideas
T
ry to gain new experiences whenever possible. Visit new places and meet and have conversations with new people. You could even just take a different route home after work or visit a new part to stimulate your mind.

3 Discuss ideas with people who think differently than you

If you need to resolve a problem, bringing together people who are extremely different, such as creative people and technical people or introverts and extraverts, can be extremely useful for generating new ideas.

4. Make decisions about what to do next

Part of being a strategic thinker is executing on what you learn. After you spend time thinking and generating ideas, you need to execute your strategy. Identify the resources that you need to execute your idea and then take action.

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