Stalled Strategy

WorkMatters Tips Issue #6 – October 24, 2006
Publisher: Gayle Lantz mailto:Gayle@GayleLantz.com

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A quick tip to help leaders and executives who need to motivate their teams and themselves, and catapult their business.

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Stalled Strategy

What’s next? It’s tough to think about it when you’re focused on what’s needed now.

Customers call. You’re there.
Discover a problem. You fix it.
Deadline. You meet it.
New business opportunity. You chase it.

I often hear clients talk about how busy they are, yet they’re frustrated because they’re not accomplishing what they really want. They feel stalled. Their engine is running in high gear, but they’re not moving forward. This happens when they’ve lost sight of their business strategy — the bigger picture that should be guiding their actions.

Effective leaders know that to be most successful they must constantly strike a balance between strategic and tactical thinking. Tactical action might get you through the day, but strategic action will position your company to thrive well into the future.

Here are three important keys, along with specific actions you can take, to help your thinking pendulum swing over to the strategic side more frequently.

    * Discipline
    Some executives report that they "force" themselves to focus on strategy by setting aside time during the year to set new goals and refresh their vision. Set a date on your calendar to do the same. Do this periodically throughout the year. As a start, determine what you really want out of the business or your department. Write it down.

    * Clarity
    The more clear you are on what you want to accomplish and why, the easier it becomes to prioritize. You will act with greater intention, instead of reacting to whatever lands in your lap. Can you express your top three strategic objectives? When you can, help your team gain the same level of clarity.

    * Execution
    Do what needs to be done. It’s not enough to set aside time to focus on strategy if you can’t act on it. Identify just one way you can execute more effectively (e.g., chart progress; increase leadership capability; remove impediments; gain commitment). If you can’t execute, something needs to change.

While the thought of spending time on strategy may sound laborious, I know you might be exhausting yourself just getting through the day. Rethinking your strategy can actually be an ideal way to gain new energy for yourself, your team and your company.

P.S. If you’ve lost your strategic focus and need to get it back, give me a call.
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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE

"Any good strategy will seem ridiculous by the time it is implemented."– Dogbert in Scott Adams’ "Build a Better Life by Stealing Office Equipment: Dogbert’s Big Book of Business"
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Reprinted from "WorkMatters Tips," a free ezine produced by Gayle Lantz featuring tips for leaders and executives who want to grow themselves, their team and their business. Subscribe at
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