How to be a More Strategic Thinker — Lloyd Emerson Johnson

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3 min readOct 18, 2022

“You need to be more strategic.”

This statement has been heard by many. In particular, those who are eager to succeed, obtain higher positions, manage larger teams, and garner greater respect and influence.

Recently I read an article published by Forbes titled “How to be a More Strategic Thinker”. Being a strategic advisor who has served on numerous boards, this article greatly resonated with me. It describes ways regarding how one can be more of a strategic thinker and obtain senior leadership positions.

Below are the different ways one can become more of a strategic thinker -

1.Free yourself from execution

Studies have demonstrated that time is one of the biggest roadblocks to strategic thinking. Many times managers are busy with their day-to-day tasks that they don’t have time to engage in strategic work necessary to advance themselves and their teams.

“You can cure this by delegating more. Empower your team to take on tasks that would offer them a learning opportunity. Audit your schedule and look for meetings that you can eliminate or outsource. Take back control of your calendar, blocking off time, and creating better boundaries. “

2. Ruthlessly prioritize

There will always be new opportunities in ones way. In order to succeed, it is important to determine and choose those opportunities which will help in advancing the businesses goal objectives.

“To ruthlessly prioritize, you must be able to answer the question, “What’s the most important thing I need to accomplish in this role?” Keep your goals front and center and get comfortable saying no and pushing back on competing demands”

3. Look for solutions, not problems

“Strategic thinkers do not simply highlight problems”

They go a step ahead and try to find solutions. They come up with plans and proposals for how to overcome their problem and find an appropriate solution.

“Assuming a solution-oriented approach requires you to get comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. It means lowering the defenses of your inner perfectionist who despetely wants to avoid mistakes and failure.”

4. Ask yourself bigger, better questions

“Strategic thinkers challenge their own assumptions and look at challenges from a number of different perspectives before deciding on the best path forward.”

5. Listen to and recruit others perspective

An important aspect in strategic thinking is listening to others perspective. The onus is not entirely on oneself to come up with a solution, recruting diverse perspectives will aid coming up with appropriate solutions via strategic thinking.

6. Be willing to take risks

For strategic thinking, it is vital to take risks to a certain extent. Trying to find the right balance between taking risks and finding stability.

Read the original article here.

About Lloyd: Lloyd Emerson Johnson is a results-oriented strategic advisor. With over 35 years of international, broad-based experience, Lloyd considers various disciplines in his approach to management and board governance. Through effectively evaluating all corners of a business, Lloyd Johnson has reinvented the roles of a strategic partner and stakeholder champion. He is a creative visionary who transforms businesses to be effective throughout all of their operations and finances. The pragmatic leader specializes in risk management and ensuring that businesses are prepared for uncertain circumstances.

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