SERVANT Leadership: S-StrategicOctober 7, 2008
If you were to look at a sample job description for a Strategic Manager, some of the qualifications would look like the list below:
- Possess the ability to move out of their comfort zone and use new and broader boundaries for thinking, planning, performing, analyzing and evaluating and continuous improvement.
- Are very passionate about what they do. They have a deep source of energy and motivation.
- Are life-long learners are driven to teach others and share what they have learned.
- Differentiate between the ends (what) and the means (how).
- They define and plan results at multiple levels before deciding how to achieve the results.
- Are risk takers. They do not limit themselves by current paradigms. They are comfortable investing and risking today’s time for tomorrow’s potential benefit.
- Possess the ability to develop a vision and then use that vision as the foundation for strategic thinking
- Continuously keep working, connecting and communicating because they never take their success for granted.
- Will develop outrageous and extraordinary objectives that define the desired results in measurable terms.
I have worked for numerous leaders and none have struck a sense of “awe” in me as those who were extremely strategic in how they thought, planned, and executed. After all, God is considered the great architect by some sectors and to be honest, looking at Christ’s leadership style, there are a number of instances where strategy was evidently clear.
But for the average Christian business leader, what does this mean for you? If you are not strategic in nature, this could greatly hinder your ability to effectively lead and develop your team. If you find this is a low area in your overall SERVANT Leader approach, you might want to try the following:
- Try evaluating your day. On average, do you spend a lot of your time putting out fires over planning?
- Try to schedule a set amount of time monthly if not weekly to plan strategically, even if it is just on how to survive the week
- Train yourself to think in a 50/50 manner with 50% of your time being focused on plans for the next 1-5 years
- If you have developed some leaders within your group…. DELEGATE. Reorganize your priorities and let them work on some of the day to day needs while you plan the organizations next big move.
- Force yourself to evaluate every task you do for at least one week to determine whether you are spending too much time in as a foot soldier and too little time as a general. There is a great balance in this area, you are not to depict yourself as “better than thou,” but your responsibility as a leader is to plan and anticipate for your team.
If you would like to see just how God showed his strategic abilities in planning for the Messiah, look at the lineage of Christ and you will recognize some key characters: Ruth, David, Jotham, Hezekiah, all the way back to Abraham. There was a method to this strategy, each of these major characters’ reputation or noteworthiness comes from one or two key decisions they made in their lives which ultimately impacted the future. What are your decisions today and which ones will send ripples over time. If you get yourself out of the trench of every day battles and spend more time asking God in prayer to help you learn strategic thinking and planning, you might see. Remember, James tells us in his opening chapter that whomever seeks wisdom and asks for it, will ultimately find it. Just ask.