John Maxwell shares ideas and tactics for improving strategic thinking for teams and leaders

Strategy is thinking ahead with a design and a goal in mind. In other words, your leaders and managers can take control of tomorrow by thinking about it today. How do strategic leaders position themselves and their teams for success

1. Strategic Navigators see the trip ahead — Leroy Eins writes, “A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others see.”

2. Strategic Navigators draw on past experience — Every past success and failure can be a source of information and wisdom. Those who fail to learn from mistakes will fail again and again.

3. Strategic Navigators listen to what others have to say — To build a healthy strategy, top-notch navigators use information from many sources.

4. Strategic Navigators examine the conditions before making commitments — Good navigators count the cost before making commitments for themselves and others.

5. Strategic Navigator conclusions represent both faith and facts — Navigating for others requires a leader to possess a positive attitude. If they can’t confidently make the trip in their minds, they won’t be able to take it in real life.

Even the most experienced “strategic navigators” will run into obstacles. Below are four of the most prevalent barriers to effective strategic thinking:

1. Over Optimism — Trusting that because one’s strategic thinking worked in the past, it will always be successful in the future.

2. Under Optimism — Undervaluing one’s talent or chance at success, causes leaders to limit strategy to minimize losses, avoid mistakes, and see their companies dwindle.

3. Confirmation Bias — Certainty of one’s own decision-making to the point of ignoring all contrary arguments.

4. Following the Herd — imitating others’ ideas and directions instead of building one’s own. Those who follow the herd don’t rise above it.