Plans are always one part of the equation. Strategy is the other- the ‘how to’ from your plans to accomplishments- A good strategy gives you overarching direction and focus. In setting your strategy, do consider the following;
Be clear on desired impact: There can be no talk of strategy without clarity. The impact sought is what will determine the process and resources. To skip this step is to get started on the wrong foot and as they say if you don’t know where you are going any road will take you there.
Have the right ingredients: Strategy cannot be random or dense. It must have patterns of action and pillars of success. There can be some experimentation, but that shouldn’t be the core. Whatever you plan to do, make sure you answer the key question of how you will get there.
Do the sacrifice needed: Everything worth doing comes with challenges. When what you are doing starts to falter, don’t assume it means the strategy is wrong. Sometimes it just means you need to step up on your leadership to navigate the rough patches and keep focused. Note your small wins to motivate you so that you don’t think all is lost. When problems come, look at where it fits in the big picture and be proportionate in what resources you spend on it.
Teach yourself to scale: Strategy needs not comprise something you already know how to do. Instead, teach yourself what’s needed or get the right hands on board. Don’t keep the idea or vision small because you are basing it on your current capacity. Be as ambitious as you can based on what you can personally handle and what other capacity you can leverage to shorten your learning curve.
Create accountability to yourself: Strategy is not the document- it’s what you actually spend your time and resources on. For example, if you say becoming better skilled to earn promotion is the impact you seek, but everything shows you spent time playing politics in the hope of achieving that, politicking becomes the defacto strategy which obviously will not yield your expressed impact.
Now take action: How can you become more systematic in setting your strategies?