A good strategy is the engine that drives tactics, hiring, and organizational design. However, when we asked leaders what their strategy was, they told us their goals instead.
Strategy and goals are connected—but they aren’t one in the same. Strategy dictates goals and activities to meet those goals. Likewise, aspiration alone isn’t strategy—strategy is the combination of both aspiration and capabilities. But if a leader can’t articulate their strategy, how can their teams understand what they’re working toward?
Leaders who define their strategy clearly have teams working on the right activities with the right resources. Not only does this make achieving goals easier, but it also makes a stronger case for resource funding—leaders who can articulate how and why they’re using resources are more likely to get support.
A good strategy has some risk associated with it—if there wasn’t something at stake, it wouldn’t make an impact—but is realistic. Strong leaders will research goals and tactics before crafting a strategy, pressure test it with colleagues, and gain buy-in from leaders across the organization. Ultimately, a clearly defined strategy and associated tactics empower leaders to be focused, disciplined, and results-driven.