Strategic ThinkingOne of the most common complaints that I hear from senior leaders is that they “don’t spend time on the strategic work.”  It seems like something that can’t be easily turned around. They don’t have any extra time. Being on the treadmill or in the press of work keeps their mind occupied so much that they don’t see the path out. Yet, only the person can take control of how he or she spends precious time.

In what way are you limited in fulfilling the strategic part of your accountability or possibility? Maybe one of these:

  • Your team and job expanded, but you are still doing (or highly involved in) the day-to-day work or decision-making?
  • You vision is now bigger and more challenging, and you team is not fully on-board to leverage your role?
  • Your organization keeps everyone busy with meetings and firedrills that whittle away the days, week, and months?

I always feel lucky that I can and do spend time thinking strategically about my business. Yet, as I was filling binders this weekend for a program I’m facilitating this week, I thought “Why am I doing this work?” I guess it seemed a small task that I could take control of to ensure the end quality. But, it’s not the best of me. More importantly, I could have spent the same hours on much more strategic work.

If you resonate with this issue, here are some ideas to work your way out of your current reality:

  1. Schedule time into your calendar to truly set a vision for your business, team, group, or self. I know, you don’t have extra time. But, you have to start here, even if it’s three one-hour sessions with yourself on Sunday at 7 a.m.
  2. Assess the risks of not resetting your role to be more strategic. Financial, career, impact, etc.
  3. Craft a description of your role and supporting roles, capturing key outcomes and accountabilities that take the wrong work off your plate.
  4. Establish or re-set the expectations of those people in key roles and let them do it. If you don’t have the right people, find them.
  5. Take control of your calendar as if your life depended on it. Your ultimate outcomes do.

Easier said than done, I know. But, time passes so quickly. I know I don’t want to be mired in binder production the next time around. I am making that decision today. And, many changes start with a clear decision!