Balancing Operations with Strategic Thinking

In my conclusion on Friday, I wrote:

So we can and should talk through things as a strategy for pushing through discomfort; the idea isn’t about institutionalizing personal connection, but about allowing other people to experience your discomfort; listen to, take it from, or guide you; and in any case help you to work through it. Because in the end, asking for help and showing vulnerability are courageous acts of strength and a necessary part of leading, especially in a world where we have resorted to war to hide such qualities.

Very frequently, we think of a long list of qualities associated with leadership, but too infrequently vulnerability and a willingness to ask for help are not among them.

Committees. Meetings. Responsibilities.

These are three things that are symbolically linked to leadership almost universally. As I take on more of each, however, I am led down a path of disengagement from the day-to-day work of my colleagues and reports. So my rumination today centers on that: how do good leaders, especially of small organizations where there are consistent requirements to have a more operational role, balance involvement in the day-to-day work with the formulation of long-term, strategic goals and the follow-through necessary to pursue and attain those goals?

It stands to reason that to some extent a leader must be purposeful, intentional in their use of time to cover all the various pulls on their attention. As a tech guy, I have used a plethora of tools to take command of my time: calendars, to-do apps, digital and analog notepads, and more. But tools do not create strategies and motivation, not even the best ones. Instead, the tool must provide a pathway to putting created strategies and intrinsic motivations into practice.

The learned strategies and intrinsic motivations lead to intentional behaviors that must become habitual.

Posted: March 17, 2022

In 2022, I am participating in two leadership training programs. This should be a social experience, so I am writing about it. Check out the full list of posts in the series here.

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