blog articles

Turn strategic thinking into leadership

A cre­ative strate­gist knows how to share just enough infor­ma­tion with the rest of the team, with­out over­whelm­ing them with details that they can’t absorb yet. This turns strate­gic insight into lead­er­ship.

If you’re a strate­gist, here’s the bad news: your team can’t move as fast as you can think. If you’re pro­vid­ing strat­e­gy, that means the rest of the team is doing oth­er things (even if there’s anoth­er strate­gist on the team). They’re depend­ing on you to deliv­er clear think­ing that’s orig­i­nal (pro­vides an insight) and takes all things into account. This means you need to pre­pare a plan that’s strate­gic and com­pre­hen­sive, but only share the rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion with the team.

But here’s the good news: you get to spend all your time think­ing and learn­ing, with a lit­tle time spent teach­ing and encour­ag­ing. Here’s the thing. If you’ve devel­oped a good strat­e­gy, peo­ple think you must have tak­en days of hard work to do it. But you know that, once you gath­ered enough facts, you did a week’s worth of work in an hour at Star­bucks. And while you’re at it, you spent a sec­ond hour and came up with the next week’s plan as well.

Of course, you didn’t show your hand to your team. You want them to be able to ben­e­fit from your clar­i­ty while you enjoy the abil­i­ty to decom­press and soak in the prob­lem. Because, after all, for cre­ative strate­gists, you live for the prob­lem.

In sum­ma­ry, strat­e­gy is great. But it’s only use­ful if it pro­vides lead­er­ship. And lead­er­ship is like teach­ing. A teacher can’t unload all her knowl­edge — knowl­edge she’s gained over a life­time of expe­ri­ence and study — in one class ses­sion. Strate­gists have to real­ize that their job takes them far, far ahead of the think­ing of the rest of the team. It’s first things first.