FountainBlue’s monthly top-ten rules of leadership are designed to guide our client entrepreneurial tech companies and the community in general on leadership best practices for themselves, and for their teams and organizations. The questions and stories raised and the advice given has been mentioned before to individual members, and compiled and gathered to benefit the larger community. This month’s top-ten-leadership rules is about how to expand your brand beyond tactical results to strategic leader who delivers results.
It happens time and time again in the valley, ambitious, hard-working, result-delivering technologists rise up the corporate ladder, delivering stellar measurable results. We are rewarding for being smart, hard-working, and executing efficiently. But there comes a point in our career, where the powers to be tell us in no uncertain terms that we are great at the doing, but not strategic enough to further rise within the organization. If you’ve heard that, and would like to correct their perception, here are some thoughts on how to change your image in their eyes,
Know yourself and why you’d like to be thought of as more strategic.
1. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and how to best lead with your strengths.
2. Know why you’d like to be thought of as more strategic, and also what’s missing if you’re not more strategic. Imagine and act as if you already where you’d like to be.
Think of your past work in a different light, first in terms of what it did for your team and company, and then in terms of measurable results.
3. Map your career path following an overarching technology or business trend, and your results within that larger picture.
4. Update your profile to reflect this mindset and communicate from this larger perspective.
Evaluate opportunities that overlap your passion, your skills, and the market opportunity.
5. Map your next position, role, organization based on what’s logically next on your career and personal path, and explain how your past experiences and successes position you well for what’s next.
6. Be thorough in considering what’s next for you, even if it means that you leave your team, company, industry, geography.
If you really do choose the strategic path, be willing to give up some old and proven practices.
7. Follow the 80-20 rule, and force yourself to not be quite as thorough at some things.
8. Embrace the unknowns and trust your instincts and your gut more, for many times, you don’t have the time or resources to know much for certain.
Build strategic networks of relationships.
9. Strategic people know that it’s not about being right, it’s about how things are done, and how you make people feel.
10. Build relationships at all levels by speaking the language of others, and nurturing the success of all, for everyone has a piece of the puzzle.
The next time you have a review or feedback that you are not as strategic as you can be, read above and prepare for a measured rebuttal about how you are much more strategic than he or she thinks you are.