Manager-Leader Strategic Thinking

Article / Strategy

Manager-Leader Strategic Thinking
Stephen Hobbs , Entrepreneur

Seven Fundamentals of Manager-Leader Strategic Thinking

Seven fundamentals of strategic thinking exist. While this list is not exhaustive nor timeless – today they are important!

1) Appreciate the game you're playing – when you manage you manage, when you lead you lead; when you strategically think, you strategically think!

As you go about your day you are involved in various games. There is the marathon and the high jump, the long jump and 110 meter hurdles. There is the shot put and 100 crawl, a game of chess and round and round the Monopoly board.

The key – know the game you are playing and will play. Adopt a preparation approach and prevention mindset all while you text instructions. In other words = Stay Found, Doing Something to stay found!

2) Gather insight into your staffs' unmet values – connect with each person’s hierarchy of values
You and people who work with you have a unique set of values guiding decision making about work and life. The more you know your own, the more likely you'll personally achieve your goals.

The more you know the hierarchy of values of each primary person with whom you connect, the more likely you'll collectively accomplish your goals.

3) Comprehend "your STEEP" – what is going on around you = internal and external
A simple meta model to gather insight is STEEP = Social-Cultural, Technological, Economical, Ecological and Political. Each area is important from the outside in (the marketplace) and the inside out (the organization).

As you do what you do with those with whom you work, determine your STEEP and the degree to which each letter affects you. For example externally it maybe sTEep and internally it may be STeep. What is the connection? So what, now what?

4) Know your approach – how do you manage (your managing)
The more you competency know and do your managing, the more likely you'll Help Your Staff Help You Manage-Lead. Instead of flying by the seat of your pants, learn and develop your management excellence, leadership excellence and organization mapping.

Become the best for your organizational culture AND challenge your becoming and culture everyday. Remain alert to the signs and symbols, and words shared each day as you continue to startegically (yes, a play on strategically) think each day.

5) Know your strengths for engagement – what do you do to engage each person/people
Each person you lead and the group you manage draws strength from your strength. Obviously, know what aspects of your managing approach help (strength and potential) and hinder (weakness and vulnerable) your involvement with and engagement of your staff.

As you gain deeper insight, use your strengths (and potentials) wisely. And … be aware of how your strength may become a weakness (Icarus Paradox). Keep you strength a strength in the enjoyment of your staff!

6) Determine how you allocate your resources – of what you got to give, how do you use and dispense it
Finite resources are not available. However, wise use of available resources contributes positively to your staffs perception of your awareness of the game your playing, your allocation of resources to meet their needs, your clarity of situations for them to work, your coherent managing-leading approach and your confidence to mange-lead from your strengths.

7) Check the words in your story-sharing – words matter, and no word is absolute
Written again – WORDS MATTER – each word has a direction and charge. Each word is a force! A simple yes or no, uttered appropriately or inappropriately has an enormous ripple affect.


Print the image above or find a piece of paper and pen.
Create a 2×2 table.
On the bottom (X) axis write Inappropriate and Appropriate.
On the vertical (Y) axis write No and Yes.
Ask yourself ... for YOUR personal work/life examples to fill the table. Your learning is ?
Then … over the past week, ask yourself –> Of my Yes and No responses to others questions/requests, was I appropriate or inappropriate in my responses? Your learning is?


(c) 2011 May … If you use the above mentioned seven fundamentals of manager-leader strategic thinking, a reference to this page is appreciated.

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Other Views by this Author: 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader (Maxwell) | 5 Clues Your Staff are Working with You

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