People who are strong in strategic thinking can quickly sort through the clutter to find the best route. This is a distinct way of thinking, of viewing the world. If you have this talent, you probably enjoy problem solving, planning, and getting involved in big projects.
A strategic person can see patterns where others see complexity. This mindset compels the strategic thinker to keep asking “what if this happened?” This recurring question helps a person see, plan and prepare for future situations. When others assume there is no way, the strategic thinker can find a way to move forward. A classic example of the use of this talent was when the engineers rescued the Apollo 13 by cobbling together a fix to get them back to earth.
The multiple challenges in the world brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic clearly demonstrated how crucial it is to have strategic thinking on your team. On March 15, 2020, we had no idea what we were all in for, or how long it would last. The supply chain challenges still plaguing the world’s transportation system has got the strategic thinkers working overtime to sort if all out.
Watch out for your blind spots. Some folks may think you are always wanting to do things a new way; the old way is just not good enough. It all comes together so quickly and logically for the strategic thinker; it is crucial to communicate the why and the how so that the rest of the team can catch up and be aligned.
Hindsight is 20:20; who would have predicted phones with a high-quality camera, using a watch as a health monitor, or the brilliance of the person that invented the shipping container. If you have this talent, good for you; if you don’t make sure you have a strategic thinker on your team that is empowered to challenge the status quo. Listen to them.