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6 Steps to Becoming a Strategic Leader

leadership| clarity| management
February 10, 20234 min read

Most leaders work hard. Few leaders work smart. Because there is always more to do than you have time to accomplish, it is easy to think that you just need to work longer and harder. While your efforts are commendable, they will not solve your problem. What will solve your problem is becoming a strategic leader. How can you do that? Take the following 5 steps!

Step #1 – Discover your strengths and weaknesses

Most people know their weaknesses.  They rear their ugly heads too often in your life.  Not everyone knows his strengths, however.  Your strengths are your “superpowers.”  They are what you like doing and do well. 

I use 2 assessments to help leaders understand themselves well.  They are DISC and YouMap.  Each assessment provides different insights for you as a leader.  I personally go through the results of each assessment and guide you how to utilize the results.  Gaining this insight provides a radical shift in leadership.  I cannot overestimate the value of this step.  

Step #2 – Make sure you are well-aligned

Making sure you are well-aligned in your company. I see 2 common characteristics among leaders: (1) they attempt to do too much, and (2) they are not well-aligned in their organizations.

Doing too many tasks drains you. You might respond, “all those tasks need to be done.” To which I say, “yes, but not necessarily by you.” Discovering what you should do AND what you shouldn’t do is critical. Every task you choose to do limits you from doing something else. So, choose wisely.

Doing tasks that do not align well for you is a mistake. You might do them well, but at the end of the day, they drain you. Doing things that align well will energize you.

Making adjustments in this area will radically change your life. Stop trying to do too much. Do fewer tasks better. Stop doing things that drain you. Do things that energize you. These 2 shifts will produce huge results.

Step #3 – Add complementary team members

 A complementary team member is someone who has gifting where you are weak. Because we dislike certain tasks, we assume others dislike them also. That’s not true. There are people who love doing what you hate doing and do them exceptionally well. You just need to find those people.

The right people will be thrilled to use their strengths in an organization where they are needed and valued!

Step #4 – Properly align your team

Once you get a well-orbed team in place, make sure you properly align them.  Use the 80/20 rule to guide you.  Place people in their strengths 80% of the time.  Make sure this is true in your life also.  There will always be 20% of things you just have to do, but you can live with 20%. 

I am a firm believer in creating a written organizational chart for your company.    Place every area of responsibility on your chart.  Make sure every area has leadership oversight.  Avoid assigning people more than 3-5 direct reports.

The biggest “take-away” here is to place people in their strengths and avoid giving them more than they can handle.  Most companies spread people too much.  Doing so will produce discouragement and lack of quality work.  Avoid this like the plague.

Step #5 – Manage and develop your team

 Finding the right people and aligning them properly is a great start.  But even the best-aligned team needs direction and development.  That’s your role as the leader. 

Managing and developing a team is essential.  It should be your primary focus.  The more effectively you develop your team, the more your company will grow.  It’s like the difference between addition and multiplication.  It’s all math, but multiplication produces bigger numbers much quicker.  

Great leaders double down on team development.  Don’t just assume the team knows what to do or how to do it.  Team development helps your team members reach their full potential.   

Taking these 5 steps will change your life!  They are simple steps, but they are not easy to execute.  That’s why most people never take action.  Taking these 5 steps is hard to do by yourself.  As someone has said, “It’s hard to read the label from inside the bottle.”  Sometimes, we are too close to maintain the objectivity that’s needed to become a strategic leader.

That’s where a good executive coach helps.  A good coach guides you in taking the proper steps in the proper order. 

If you want a guide to help you become a strategic leader, please click here to schedule a personal strategy call.  During the call, we will explore your unique challenges, share more about the results we are getting with leaders, and discuss what it would look and feel like to work together. 

I encourage you to schedule your strategy call today. You will gain great value, regardless of whether we work together. There’s nothing to lose. There’s no charge for the call. See you soon!

5 Simple Steps to Growing a Business

Dave Pennington PhD

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