Strategic thinking is one of the key skills that will help you get ahead. It’s what every recruiter is looking for and what every successful organization needs. But how do you know if you’re a strategic thinker? And how can you showcase one of your most marketable skills?
1. Strategic Thinkers are Reflective Thinkers
One of the hallmarks of strategic thinking is the capacity to reflect. Critical, reflective thinking allows you to dive deep into all the aspects of a problem. It is a habitual way of thinking that allows you to see the issue from all angles.
If you’re a strategic thinker, you don’t go straight for the easiest or most obvious answer. In fact, you’re likely to be wary of the easy solution and really turn the problem inside out before you decide on a course of action.
Strategic thinkers draw data from many sources to inform their thinking. They explore possibilities and likely and unlikely scenarios. They weigh the pros and cons of potential solutions and think of how each will affect the stakeholders.
2. Strategic Thinkers make Great Leaders
The capacity to see all aspects of a situation and to think of the possible ramifications makes strategic thinkers natural leaders.
Honing your strategic thinking skills helps to develop and build your strategic leadership skills.
Strategic leaders can join the dots and make surprising connections and have a particular aptitude for systems thinking. Many people tend to have a narrow vision that doesn’t extend much beyond their own job or specialization. Strategic thinkers tend to be interested in what everyone is doing and why which gives them a very different perspective on problem-solving. And because they are looking at the situation from a 360-degree angle, they can assess the impact on the organization as a whole.
This kind of strategic leadership inspires loyalty and trust in employees and clients alike.
3. Strategic Thinkers Create More Strategic Thinkers
Strategic thinkers tend to be inspiring. They see and think outside the box. They are enthusiastic about the future and its possibilities and inspire a can-do attitude.
Strategic leaders tend to ask questions. They think deeply about the issues affecting the organization, and prompt others to think about the same issues. They’re focused on the strategic vision, how the organization meets the needs of its stakeholders, and how it can go beyond just delivering the same product.
If you want to foster and signal your strategic thinking, learn to think deeply, and ask the hard questions. Go beyond what’s in front of you and think of what is possible.