Here’s something you’ll never hear in business: “Let’s promote her to a senior leadership role…she’s highly tactical.” The greatest compliment a leader can receive is to be referred to as “strategic.” A survey of more than 10,000 senior executives showed that 97 percent believe the leadership behavior most critical to an organization’s future success is being “strategic.” Additional research with more than 60,000 executives around the world found that a strategic approach to leadership was 10 times more important to the perception of effectiveness than any other factor studied.

Business leaders, academicians, and boards of directors echo these findings:

“To me, the single most important skill needed for any leader today is strategic acuity.” Indra Nooyi, former CEO, Pepsi.

“After two decades of observation, it is clear that mastery of strategy is not an innate skill. Most great CEOs learn how to become better strategic thinkers.” David Yoffie, professor, Harvard Business School.

“The #1 trait of active CEOs that make them attractive board candidates is strategic expertise.” Corporate Board of Directors Survey

“The No. 1 capability boards are looking for in a CEO: Strategic capability.” Cathy Anterasian, Senior Partner, Spencer Stuart.

As the research and thought leaders demonstrate, the importance of being strategic is universal. After all, who doesn’t want to be seen as providing new value that leads to benefits, gains, or profits for their organization? The Strategic Quotient Assessment (SQ) is a measure of a person’s strategic capabilities as exhibited through their mindset and behaviors. 

The SQ is based on the 3A Framework of the three critical disciplines for being strategic. These three disciplines are:

  • Acumen (Thinking) – The generation of insights to create new value.
  • Allocation (Planning) – Focusing resources through strategic trade-offs.
  • Action (Acting) – Prioritizing and executing initiatives.

The SQ is used to identify opportunities for development of a person’s strategic capabilities, and, following a targeted intervention, to determine whether the individual understands and applies the disciplines of Acumen, Allocation, and Action. A person’s score on the SQ may indicate the likelihood they can successfully apply and demonstrate these strategic capabilities.

Primary and Secondary Dimensions of the Strategic Quotient

The SQ Assessment is comprised of 50 statements to determine the performance level of how one thinks, plans, and acts strategically. Following are five sample statements from the SQ Assessment:

I record my assessment of the current business situation     
I meet with colleagues from other areas to align on strategy     
I update my business plan with new insights     
I take time at the completion of projects to record key learnings     
I schedule time in my calendar to think about the future of my business     

The Strategic Quotient is a measure of your strategic capabilities as exhibited through your mindset and behaviors. Your strategic capabilities consist of how you think, plan, and act strategically. The good news is that each of these areas of being strategic can be developed and improved with deliberate practice. If IQ gets you hired, and EQ gets you promoted, then SQ gets you to the C-suite.

For additional information on taking the Strategic Quotient assessment and discovering your SQ score, visit

The Strategic Fitness System

Where Executives Become Elite

Greatness in any arena requires continuous practice. If you want to be a difference maker in your industry, then you need a place to practice the key business skills along with the knowledge and tools to get better. The Strategic Fitness System is a new state-of-the-art, on-demand executive development platform for practicing how to think, plan, and act strategically. It offers unlimited access to over 50 strategic workouts and 200+ resources in the areas of Strategy, Leadership, Organization, and Communication. Join the echelon of elite executives and start enhancing your strategic fitness by visiting to learn more and subscribe today. After all, practice makes profit.

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