Every strategist should have...
The stuff and characteristics it takes to succeed in strategy
Reader’s Note: This is a re-post of a popular entry from this past May. I’m on the road this week and will have an original essay next week. Until then, enjoy!
Every strategist should have…
A sense of curiosity.
A quiet place to work.
An armful of reference books at arm's length.
A recognition that ideas must be converted to action if they're to mean anything.
A willingness to fail, miserably, publicly, shamefully, for the small possibility that an idea might work.
A sense for the natural irreplaceable value of time.
An awareness of rhythm in life and strategy - that pacing matters - not just rough order of events but also the speed with which they take place.
Principles. Faith in some ideas that guide one to better places.
Outlets for communication. Every strategist must have a way to get ideas out into the world.
A personal abacus, to quantify and describe the feedback mechanism's results for each endeavor.
Most strategists have some but not all possessions.
Some lack conviction, the guts it takes to see an idea into the world that very well will probably fail.
Some lack pizzazz, the showman's instinct, critical to garnering the attention of others.
Some lack the self-criticism necessary for future growth.
Some lack the raw will to fail, over and over, and over again, which is a skill that takes some pain (and callouses) to get used to.
The striking thing about this list is how little stuff it takes, and yet how much it demands, to be a strategist.