Becoming a better strategic leader

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Becoming a better strategic leader

Strategy, strategic thinking, formulating strategy, executing strategy, strategic leadership and similar phrases are frequently bandied around.

In this post, I help the reader unpack what it means to behave like a strategic leader. In other words, what behaviours in yourself should you look for and learn to develop to become a better leader at the team or enterprise level?

How you move from being a tactical leader to a strategic leader requires a roadmap

Analyse –> Allocate –> Act–> Measure

I describe the major components of each of the four stages of the Analyse—> Allocate—> Act—> Measure cycle to clarify what needs to be learned and how each stage leads into the next.

Analyse stage. Analysis has three core components:
[1] Context awareness maps out internal situations, such as culture, purpose, and processes and external situations, such as market trends, competitive landscape, and customer behaviour.
[2] Insight refers to the ability to learn from context awareness. This requires curiosity, an exploration mindset and staying open to ideas.
[3] Innovation here means combining your context awareness and insight to create new value.

Allocation stage. Allocation is about how you plan. It involves [1] setting goals, [2] distributing resources in the form of time, talent and capital, which are all finite, [3] recognising the risks and trade-offs when making decisions, and [4] creating superior value. Allocation also involves moving resources from underperforming areas towards ones with greater potential.

Action stage. Action is about what you do. It’s the implementation of your business strategy that requires
[1] collaboration with others to access special knowledge and extra capacity, [2] disciplined and focused application of resources and [3] the stewardship of your time, energy and mindset to pursue your desired outcomes.

Measure stage. The measure stage closes the loop by gauging how far you have come and reflecting on how many key outcomes have been achieved. The metrics enable you to learn what was done that succeeded and what fell short. The key takeaway is that there are nuggets of gold and important lessons that can only be discovered upon reflection.


The ability to analyse, allocate, act and measure separates strategic leaders from the rest. They are behaviours that can be learned and applied to create superior value.

More on this subject…

Leverage “The Learning Loop” to Maximize Performance by Regan Bach in Medium.

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This post was written by Dr Margaret Beaton, a director of Beaton Executive Coaching and Beaton Research + Consulting. You can also find Margaret on LinkedIn.