Strategic: Possessing insight that leads to advantage.

Think, plan, act. Most people do none of these. They simply react.

Bouncing from one thing to the next with no rhyme or reason is for bumper cars at the carnival. Don’t be a carny…be strategic.

Stop throwing the word “strategic” in front of other words just to make them sound more important. Be precise and ensure you have a common language for strategy.

A good plan answers two questions: 1) What are you trying to achieve? 2) How will you achieve it? Stop overcomplicating it. And if you don’t have your plan in writing, you’re less prepared for success than a Pee-Wee football coach.

Half of the tasks, meetings, and decisions you are involved in should be delegated to others. Yes. Half.

Being strategic will not win you a popularity contest. In fact, it will tick people off: bosses, co-workers, and some customers. Get over it. Being strategic means having the guts to say no to requests and meetings that don’t support your goals.

There is one person on a team that can make or break its success. Feed the former and jettison the latter.

A strategic leader acts as a funnel for their people, regulating the flow of information and requests that reach them. Otherwise, they may as well be an order taker at a fast-food drive thru. Want fries with those tactics?

There are times to build consensus and times for you alone to make the decision. Know which is which.

Strategy should not be an annual event like a birthday where there’s lots of signage and fanfare and then it goes away for 11 months. Strategy should be an ongoing dialogue about the key business issues to set direction.

New growth comes from new thinking.

Operational means running the same race as everyone else. Strategic means running a different race–one you’ve designed to win.

The Latin origin of the word “decision” means “to cut off.” What should you cut off from your time and attention? These are your trade-offs. They should be difficult to make. Make them anyway.

Follow the norm = mediocrity. Deviate from the norm = excellence.

Experience without expertise means nothing–zero, zip, zilch. Trees have experience being trees. Expertise is built on insights. Insights are the bridge from experience to expertise and strategic thinking is how we build that bridge of insights, day in and day out.

Innovation: creating new value. Insight: a learning that leads to new value. All innovation depends on insight.

Outthink to outperform.

Compete means to strive to reach your potential. Win, lose or draw, the outcome is irrelevant. Did you compete today?

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