Tom Rath’s book Strengths Finder 2.0 revealed my top five strengths. My number three strength is strategic. Strategic people create alternative ways to proceed. They quickly spot relevant patterns and issues when faced with a given scenario.
Just like I am a futurist, I also believe I’m a strategic. I see strategic and futurist in myself as a nice complement. The futurist side is creative – my right brain. The strategic side is logical – my left brain.
From Rath’s book, the strategic person follows this simple three-step process over and over:
- Asks, “What if?”
- Selects from multiple possible paths.
- Strikes down the best logical path.
Strengths Finder 2.0 believes that strategic is not a skill that can be taught – rather, it’s a distinct way of thinking. It’s a special perspective of the world at large.
Strategic people see patterns where other people simply see complexity.
Strategic people play out alternative scenarios by always asking, “What if this happened?” or “What if that happened?”
Strategic people have the ability to accurately evaluate potential obstacles.
Strategic people seem to be able to see around corners.
Because of this talent to see many possible paths, strategic people select the paths that move an issue forward.
Strategic people discard paths that lead nowhere.
Strategic people discard paths that lead into resistance.
Strategic people discard paths that lead into a fog of confusion.
Strategic people strike forward based on “what if” analysis and thoughtful consideration of multiple options.
I’ve noticed about myself that it’s easier for me to use my strategic talents to strike forward when consulting with others. Others’ challenges are frequently simpler for me to identify, simpler for me to select possible paths forward, and simpler for me to see (and strike) the best logical path forward.
In my own life, I’m very good about asking “what if” and seeing the many possible paths … but selecting and striking forward is frequently more difficult. My guess is it results from being emotionally invested, being biased, having analysis paralysis, or simply being too close to see the forest through the trees.
Strengths Finders 2.0 suggests that strategic people learn to trust their intuition. A strategic might not understand something rationally, but they should strike forward, intuitively trusting their brain that anticipates and projects. Strategics must develop the confidence in their perceptions.
Sounds like good advice to me.
As a strategic, I say, “Strategy is as strategy does!
Next Blog Title: Connectedness
Next Blog Date: February 4, 2013