Tuesday, 22 November 2011

As a leader, are you thinking strategically?

As a leader, are you thinking strategically?

Leaders need to think.  We need to think all the time.  It’s one of the reasons we need to be engaged in continuous learning.  But for what purpose do we need to do all of this thinking? 

Leaders need to think strategically.  If you are leading a school/organization, you have a significant level of responsibility to ensure that you are leading for continuous improvement.  People are placed in roles as leaders not to maintain the status quo but to bring about improvement.  But improvement doesn’t happen simply because we want it to.  It happens because we have thought strategically about all of the factors that influence a school/organization.  One by one, we analyze these factors in terms of how they contribute or distract from the important work that needs to be done.  Furthermore, we analyze how these factors relate to each other.  Factor X is important.  Factor Y is important.  But what is the relationship between these two factors.  Are they mutually supportive or mutually exclusive? 

As a leader, you need to think strategically so that your thinking serves the best interest of your school/organization.  But how do you know if your thinking is strategic or not?  Think of it this way.  Strategic thinking leads to decisions that bring about improvement.  Ask yourself, Will my decision make a positive difference to our work?  Will my decision make a change in what we are hoping to accomplish?  Will my decision maintain the status  quo – and is that a good thing?  

Truly skilled leaders engage others in discussions that benefit from strategic thinking.  Engaging others in strategic thinking is an indication of your strength as a leader.  You call on the best thinking available to help guide decisions.  There is always wisdom in the building if you allow it to surface in a safe conversation.

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