Strategic Thinkers, Visionary Leaders

I had a board member from a nonprofit organization tell  me that their board decided they should stop focusing so   much on performance measures and consider other means  of evaluating their executive. After I stopped choking on the water that I happened to swallow at that very moment, I asked her why? She said because they needed to take into consideration how tough the financial times are right now, and it wasn’t reasonable to make that kind of judgment. In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins did not say great organizations set “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” only when times are prosperous. All nonprofit executives should be evaluated based on performance and the performance goals should be based on what great leaders can achieve. I told my board member friend to ask herself this: does your mission deserve a great leader?

When I played tennis back in high school and college, I learned something really meaningful – you tend to play to the level of your opponent. If I wanted to become better at tennis, then I needed to play against people who were much better than I was, not against those who were equal, or I could easily beat.

I read a great article that would be helpful for board members and should be a part of an executive’s evaluation.  6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers  by Paul J.H. Schoemaker

Here are some of my favorite quotes:
Every leader’s temptation is to deal with what’s directly in front, because it always seems more urgent and concrete.

While you concentrate on steering around potholes, you’ll miss windfall opportunities, not to mention any signals that the road you’re on is leading off a cliff. 

Adaptive strategic leaders — the kind who thrive in today’s uncertain environment – do six things well: …….Anticipate, Think Critically, Interpret, Decide, Align and Learn. 

I encourage you to read the entire article and the comments. As you see, part of being a great leader is being strategic. So, does your mission deserve a great leader?

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