Thinking about your strategy

We need a strategy when we want to make a change in our lives. We need a strategy to overcome any obstacle we're facing or to take advantage of opportunities we uncovered. We need a strategy get others on board with what we're changing. We even need a strategy to change the strategy we're deploying. Having all these needs for a strategy does not mean you've got one.

It's possible you have no strategy at all. If you're consumed by what you're doing, all you have is your tactics, methods and activities. That means when there's something that's not right, all you can do is try harder to make it right. You're limited to doing what you're doing. You're acting as if there is nothing else that could be done or no other ways to do it.

It's possible you have strategy but don't know what it is. This occurs when there are many possible approaches to situation, but you're dwelling on one in particular. It's obvious to others what you've chosen, prioritized, ruled out and avoided. You're actions speak louder than your words about your strategy if the two contradict each other.

It's possible you have two strategies: an explicit and an implicit strategy. This happens when we're telling people what they want to hear while doing what really works that they don't want to accept. It also occurs when we idealize some strategy that impresses others while our motivation problems interfere with getting anything done. We espouse our explicit strategy to convince ourselves and others. We deploy our implicit strategy to get things done.

It's possible you have a flawed strategy. If you're not getting the results you want after enough time, effort and exploration, it's likely your strategy is ill-conceived. Your strategy may be built upon flawed assumptions about how others will respond to your imposition, how the intended changes will play out among opposing interests or how your own abilities will face up to the challenges. Your tactics, methods and activities may be executed flawlessly, but get undermined by your faulty assumptions.

It's possible your strategy is too much of good thing and backfires from it's excesses. Strategies can be too direct or indirect and too pushy or not imposing enough. Strategies need to appraise present circumstances realistically without becoming so troubled that visionary possibilities get shot down. Likewise, strategies can become so imaginative and far fetched that they lose touch with reality and thus connect with no one.

It's possible you have an effective strategy. It makes good use of what you bring to the table. Your strategy perceptively reads the situation and gives you insights for creative maneuvers. It presumes to have lots more to learn from further inquiries, explorations and experiments. It questions its own assumptions and seeks verification or revisions as situations develop further. It balances the potential extremes and aligns the explicit/ implicit pairs of strategies. Your strategy sets things up so some of the desired changes simply fall into place. In this case, your thinking about your strategy is also effective.

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