Do Leaders Need Strategy?

I was following a forum thread recently that was discussing strategy. The question that was posed was “What makes a good strategy?” “How often should it be updated?” and “How has it changed over the past several years?”

The usual response of answers provided a good framework for discussion including

  • That it is a practicable plan that helps achieve a major objective.
  • Should focus on what you are good at.
  • Should be reviewed as often as necessary
  • And that you should add the “why” question to the “what” (strategy) and “how”( tactic) question. The why question helps answer “why the heck are we doing this after all?”

A more interesting point was raised about whether individuals should have a strategy and an important comment was made that for complex organizations, strategy is vital but for smaller businesses (and I would suggest individuals) strategy is only useful for smaller projects or activities such as “what is your strategy for preparing that presentation to your Board of Directors?” For most leaders and other people, keeping a more opportunistic perspective on what you are doing may be a more valuable approach.

In other words, make sure that your not back in your office developing a big time strategy when there may be a great chance circumstance outside may lead to greater rewards.

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