Want to be more strategic? Here are 6 questions to ask yourself.

Have you ever been told that you need to be less tactical? If you moved a position that required it, could you make the transition from being reactive to thinking and acting strategically? And what exactly is strategy, anyway?

Ellie Pidot knows more about strategy than most of us will forget! In her position as vice president of strategy at Medtronic, 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.

So what is a seasoned executive strategist’s definition of strategy
Pidot explains, “Strategy is a fancy word for coming up with a long-term plan and putting it into action.”

In addition to developing corporate strategy at the highest level with the senior executive team, Pidot also works with Medtronic’s eight business units and various regions worldwide, helping to facilitate their strategic planning process.

One of Pidot’s top tips for becoming a better strategist is to “collaborate, collaborate, collaborate,” and her approach to strategy creation involves serving as a thought partner to executives across the company.

Pidot begins by asking questions that provoke the type of deeply reflective thinking that enables a business or region to develop its own strategy. Typical questions she recommends asking when formulating a strategy are:

• What are your customers’ unmet needs?
• How should your strategy address them?
• How will your markets be different in the future than they are today?
• What can you do to position yourself for the future?
• What is the business case for your investments?
• How will you measure and track performance to ensure impact?

But what if you are not leading a business but are an individual contributor who is trying to be more strategic? Pidot recommends asking similar questions while imagining your boss as a customer.

“Ask yourself, what are your customer’s unmet needs,” she says. “Meaning, what is it that your boss wants and needs? Reflect on your job description and what you know about your boss, and how you could make his or her life easier.”

Pidot also stresses the importance of need prediction. Or, as she explains it, “Look for ways to better predict the kinds of things that they want you to do. By coming up with a list, you can probably anticipate those needs better.”

Planning is also high on Pidot’s list of recommendations: “Have a bias for action and get things done. Have milestones — check them off and follow through. Come up with a long-term plan,  think ahead in a way that is proactive, and put it into action,” she says.

A final key to becoming a better strategist, according to Pidot, is to take the time to think.

“We all have challenges and our days are jam-packed. We are running from meeting to meeting, trying to accomplish more in less time,” Pidot stresses. “It feels sometimes like we don’t even have the time to get our job done, let alone have time to step back. But I can’t overemphasize how important it is to have unstructured time with yourself or with your team, just to think. An agenda-less hour or two is critical for generating creativity and different thinking.”

Clearly there is more to a good leadership strategy than meets the eye. But with this checklist, strategizing your way to becoming less tactical is not so hard after all.

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