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Strategic Thinking Skills

Critical skills that strategic thinkers have;

1: Strategic thinkers have the ability to use the left (logical) and right (creative) sides of their brain.

2: They have the ability to develop a clearly defined and focused business vision and personal vision. They are skilled at both thinking with a strategic purpose as well as creating a visioning process. They have both skills and they use them to complement each other.

3: They have the ability to clearly define their objectives and develop a strategic action plan with each objective broken down into tasks and each task having a list of needed resources and a specific timeline.

4: They have the ability to design flexibility into their plans by creating some benchmarks in their thinking to review progress. Then they use those benchmarks to as a guide and to recognize the opportunity to revise their plans as needed. They have an innate ability to be proactive and anticipate change, rather than being reactive to changes after they occur.

5: They are amazingly aware and perceptive. They will recognize internal and external clues, often subtle, to help guide future direction and realize opportunities for them and their companies or organizations. Great strategic thinkers will listen, hear and understand what is said and will read and observe whatever they can so that they will have very helpful and strategic information to guide them. Strategic thinkers often have those "Ah Ha" experiences while on vacation, walking, sitting and relaxing or during many other activities because they see or hear something that resonates and because they are so aware and perceptive.

6: They are committed lifelong learners and learn from each of their experiences. They use their experiences to enable them to think better on strategic issues.

7: The best and greatest strategic thinkers take time out for themselves. Their time out may be in the form of a retreat (some prefer to call it an "advance" since it "advances" their thinking"); a walk in a special environment; relaxing in a comfortable chair in the lobby of an historic hotel; or an afternoon in a quiet place with a blank sheet of paper or their lap top computer with "their thinking caps" on.

8: They are committed to and seek advice from others.

9: They have the ability to balance their tremendous amount of creativity with a sense of realism and honesty about what is achievable in the longer term. This ability to balance does not deter them in their thinking. Sometimes they refer to themselves as realistic optimists.

10: They have the ability to be non-judgmental and they do not allow themselves to be held back or restricted by judging their own thinking or the thinking of others when ideas are initially being developed and shared. This is especially true during any "brainstorming" exercises to ensure a flow of great ideas. There will be time to test the ideas AFTER the "brainstorming" is concluded.

11: They have the ability to be patient and to not rush to conclusions and judgments.