I was fortunate to find myself at a recent event whose keynote speaker’s topic highlighted the top areas in business to improve our organizations and our roles within them.  The room was filled with not only business owners, but management, sales support, marketing, business development, and directors.  That was a great sign as I knew the speaker’s topic resonated with them as well.  No matter what our roles within any company or organization, actually owning our business can make a big difference in how we approach our job.

An area that created quite a bit of dialogue centered on the jobs each of us has within our place of employment.  One gentleman in the audience emphasized what it meant to be tactical vs strategic using the example of a custodian.  A tactical approach to the custodian’s daily responsibilities would simply encompass his/her tasks like ensuring the building is properly maintained and the basic functions are operating as they should (i.e. the lights turn on, the heat works in the winter, A/C in the summer, and floors shine).  However, with a strategic approach those same job responsibilities are now viewed from a different perspective.

Being strategic in our job means removing our blinders so we move from “getting our job done” to seeing the bigger picture.  It means looking at how we are connected to the whole organization, how our role overlaps with others, and how our role impacts the role of others.  We become truly strategic with our daily responsibilities and think “outside the box.”

Being strategic vs purely tactical creates a whole new mind-set.  The custodian, for example, would take the time to check the weather forecast for the potential of inclement weather.  This strategic, thoughtful approach allows for a more thorough preparation. Having the right equipment and supplies so the employees can safely park and enter the building without the risk of falling is being strategic.  Falling means lost productivity and worker’s compensation.

No matter the position we hold, we have the opportunity to be more strategic.  Whether that means turning projects around in a timely fashion, responding to emails and phone calls quickly, or following through with something you said you would do.  Not paying close attention to how our actions affect others prevents them from doing their jobs.  If they are waiting on us for an answer or information then they are essentially in limbo – one we created.  Strategic thinking plays no role in that scenario.  You alone dictate how the pendulum swings with how tactical or strategic you execute your organizational responsibilities.

Keep it personal.

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