Thinking Strategically Will Help You Get Ahead and Stay Ahead - Deepstash

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Getting started on the strategic thinking mindset

Getting started on the strategic thinking mindset

Strategic thinking: the ability to visualize the long-term while planning the short-term to align with the long-term is a critical skill in life.

Much like other things in life, strategic thinking is a muscle that gets better with repetition and practice.

Here are a few questions to kick off your thinking: 

  • Where do you stand now?
  • Where do you want to be next year and the year after that?
  • What skills do you need to get there?
  • How can you practice them?
  • How can you use your time effectively and maximize it for impact?
  • Who can help you validate your ideas and give you feedback to expand your thinking?


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Challenge and question assumptions

One big component of building a strategic thinking mindset is to challenge how certain things are done in your organization - not with the intent to put someone down or establish your superiority, but to identify ways to do them better.

  • Ask targeted questions on specific problems within your organization or your line of work.
  • Learn from how others respond or think about these problems.
  • Different points of view on these problems will not only expand your own thinking, but they will also give you a direction on the areas that are worth investing your time in.


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Observe, interact and draw connections

Create mental space for new ideas to kick in. Without the quiet time to sit with your thoughts, facing the uncomfortable silence, and letting your mind wander away, you cannot draw useful connections.

Spend time learning about your business and industry. Meet with other functions within your organization to understand how they operate, what their challenges are and how they make decisions. All of this knowledge will enable you to apply different mental models to connect ideas from different domains thereby expanding your circle of competence and building your strategic thinking skills.


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Put it into action

While a good strategy is important to get started, a strategy by itself won’t get you anywhere. You need both strategies “the intent” and tactics “putting that intent to action.”

  • Break down your strategy into the specific things you need to do.
  • Plan what day of the week, and what specific time of the day you are actually going to give life to your strategy. To make sure you don’t let things slip by, or fail to grab the right opportunities, plan these activities on your calendar.
  • Don’t let lack of time or other excuses be the reason for inaction. Plan your time to make things happen.


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Craft and communicate

To embrace a strategic thinking mindset, don’t work in silos. Find people around you that you can trust, respect or admire.

Exchange your ideas with them, request them to challenge your thinking, enable them to ask you tough and uncomfortable questions.


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Strategic thinking is an ongoing process

You can’t build a strategic thinking muscle unless you audit your outcomes, inquire about other opinions and adapt to the changes around you.

The world is changing very fast and you need to adapt your thinking to the demands of the tomorrow and not the expectations from the past.


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