Strategic thinkers are not born, they’re made. Strategic thinking is a skill like any other, and one that is highly valued by recruiters and executives. It is a key element of good leadership and can be inspiring and motivating. Strategic thinking is a skill anyone can choose to learn and develop – if you want to.
If you want to get ahead and be seen as top talent, here are four qualities of strategic thinkers you’ll want to cultivate.
1. Strategic Thinkers Never Stop Learning
One fundamental quality of strategic thinkers is curiosity. They always ask why or why not. They see possibilities everywhere and are always on the lookout for new information.
Strategic leaders are committed to learning from as many sources as possible. It’s about listening and learning from others, reading, and getting as much as possible from events like networking and conferences.
2. Strategic Thinkers Ask for Advice
People who are highly-skilled strategic thinkers never fall into the trap of believing they know it all. They understand that there’s a whole world of experience and data out there to draw from. So, they seek advice from others, they ask questions, and they test ideas. They look out for constructive criticism, to make sure their product or service is as robust as possible before it’s unleashed on the world.
3. Strategic Thinkers Are Risk Takers
Successful people know that a certain amount of risk is necessary to get anywhere in this world. Innovation, problem-solving, and excellence require a certain level of confidence, chutzpah even, that risks failure. And strategic thinkers are okay with that. They accept that failure is part of the deal and offers an opportunity to refine and perfect.
4. Strategic Thinkers Stay Focused.
Whatever else is going on, strategic thinkers never take their eye off the ball. They stay focused on the key objective of their project and business. Whether the company is an investment multinational, a one-person entrepreneur, or a not-for-profit, the strategic leader stays true to the primary purpose of the organization.
They know that if you lose your line of sight to the business’ central vision, that you’re no longer being strategic. Strategic thinking combines an ability to plan for the future, adapt to changing environments and circumstances, and deal with challenges. All organizations need strategic thinkers, and you are in a position to become a powerful strategic thinker and an influential leader.