Ask an Exec: 3 Components of a Good Strategy

What’s the most challenging career transition for any up-and-coming leader to make? Without a doubt, it is making the leap from doing to leading.

You’ve seen it happen: A high performing employees derails  their career by thinking that they can keep succeeding as a solo star, and as a result, suffers a spectacular, career-limiting, flame-out.

To ease yourself through that transition, one step you can—and should—take now, is to focus less on the tactical aspects of your work, and pay closer attention to  strategy.

In her position as vice president of strategy at Medtronic, Ellie Pidot works closely with the CEO and senior management team to lead the development of corporate strategy and improve the quality of strategic decision-making companywide.

Pidot recommends that any good strategy needs three characteristics: to be forward looking, aspirational and grounded in facts.

Step 1: Focus Forward

Pidot advises that to be truly effective, a strategy must be forward-focused.

“To move from getting caught up in the day-to-day responsibilities of the job and become more strategic, you need to be looking ahead,” Pidot advises.

But how? She recommends asking yourself, “What is the world going to look like, five or 10 years from now? How are the dynamics that I am operating in going to change over time? How can I put into place a set of actions to get me to where the world is going to be?”

Being more predictive, versus more reactive, will help us all to focus more on the future and the past, and start thinking ahead rather than looking behind.

Step 2: Keep Your Eyes on the Stars, But Your Feet on the Ground

A good strategy needs to be aspirational, while recognizing your starting point and constraints.

“You need to be bold enough in your aspirations that you can get excited about it because you are going to spend a lot of time working on your strategy,” Pidot stresses. “But at the same time recognize where you are today, and what constraints you might have on the potential actions that are at your disposal.”

Every job has “guardrails,” Pidot warns, but those inevitable limitations can’t define your goals – or career. “It is a careful balance,” she warns. “You can’t get too far ahead of yourself, but at the same time you don’t want to limit yourself.”

Step 3: Be Fact Based

A common misconception about strategy is that it requires thinking at the high level and not digging down into the detail it requires to effectively perform day-to-day tasks.

So, how can we get out of “detail mode” and be more strategic in our thinking?

Pidot advises: “One of the common reasons that strategies fail is that they are not grounded in facts, data and a deep understanding of your customers and business environment. One of the most important elements of strategy is moving away from ‘managing by anecdote’ and developing a much more systematic approach using facts, data and analysis.”

By following Ellie Pidot’s three components of a good strategy, you can move from doing to leading, from tactician to strategist, and become a “go to” person for all things forward focused, aspirational and fact-based.

To hear my conversation with Ellie Pidot watch “Being Strategic” available immediately when you register for the Emerging Women Leaders Webinar Series.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is CEO of leadership development, consulting and research firm Be Leaderly. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Pinterest
Follow by Email
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a ...

Four Types of Questions To Ask Your Mentor

Have conversations with your mentor gotten a bit repetitive lately? Perhaps you approached ...

25 Songs For Your Leadership Playlist

What are your all-time favorite leadership songs — the ones that make you ...

How to Shut Down a Colleague Who Takes Credit for Your Work

Has this ever happened to you? You’re in a meeting and the unthinkable ...

5 Ways to be a Leader, Not a Manager

Have you ever wondered about the difference between a manager and a leader? ...

11 Leadership Lessons Learned

Here are 11 lessons I’ve learned about leadership—mostly from much-admired colleagues, and just ...

10 Killer Leadership Skills: The Great Differentiators?

Last week at Hallmark I hosted a couple gentlemen from a partner company. ...

Influencing Without Authority—Using Your Six Sources of Influence

I am in the difficult situation of being unofficial project lead, responsible for ...

9 Traits of Exceptional Leaders

Truly great leaders are hard to come by, but it seems everyone thinks ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a question I ask in a survey ...

A New Research Report and a New Era for Be Leaderly
A New Research Report and a New Era for Be Leaderly

January 22, 2019: Today, we published our first ever research report, OUT OF THE COMFORT

4 Myths About Having Mentors (and How to Overcome Them)
4 Myths About Having Mentors (and How to Overcome Them)

Mentors are special people. They take us under their wise, experienced wings and help us

Schedule “Life” First.
Schedule “Life” First.

Every year, on January 1st, my year begins the same way. I sit down with

25 Questions to Ask a Mentor
25 Questions to Ask a Mentor

Whenever I’m asked “What are some of the best questions to ask a mentor?” I

4 Ways to Break Free from Your Post-Holiday Funk
4 Ways to Break Free from Your Post-Holiday Funk

You’re back in the saddle at work. Maybe you took a few days off for

Our Top 8 Most-Read Articles of 2018
Our Top 8 Most-Read Articles of 2018

Go big or go home! If that’s your plan for 2019, we’re here to support

Top 18 Leadership Quotes of 2018 (Slideshow)
Top 18 Leadership Quotes of 2018 (Slideshow)

Monday mornings at BeLeaderly bring  motivational leadership quotes to inspire our readers. If your goal is

Be Leaderly Talks Gender Bias on the TEDx Stage
Be Leaderly Talks Gender Bias on the TEDx Stage

More and more companies want to lessen gender bias in the workplace, but I contend

Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps
Turn Your Strengths Into Superpowers in 4 Steps

Ask a woman to name her signature strengths and she’ll often squirm in her chair,

Leaderly Quote: Find your voice…
Leaderly Quote: Find your voice…

Find your voice. Get comfortable with power. Lift others up. —Jo Miller

Ask Jo: How can I thank my mentor?

Question: I have an incredible mentor. She ...

Teamwork is a Skill. It Takes Practice!

Everyone wants to lead, or be a ...

It’s Worth the Risk (I promise)

This is Sarah. She’s one of my ...

100 Leadership Qualities

What are your leadership strengths? That’s a ...

Leaderly Quote: Great Leaders Know When to Step Aside

“Great leaders know when to step aside.” ...

At Be Leaderly, our mission is a simple one: To provide proven career strategies that help you lead, climb, and thrive as a rising woman of influence. If you’re ready to lead, we’re here to support and inspire you.

Subscribe

captcha

PRIVACY

We will never share, rent, or sell your personal information or email address. Read more.
Copyright 2019, Be Leaderly