In the IT world, it is easy to be tactically focused. There is so much to be done and often you are checking off the boxes on your list, moving from one task to another. But how do you look beyond your tactical to-do list and consider the bigger picture?
In a recent article and webinar with Forbes, Dona Munsch, Vice President of Cloud Operations for NetApp talks about moving away from being a tactician and becoming more strategically minded. Here are her top three traits to embrace you inner IT strategist:
Understand Your Time Horizon
Are you thinking about today’s activities or to-do list? Is your current timeframe focused on your daily tasks? Instead of only thinking about your day-to-day, Munsch recommends asking yourself “What is my time horizon and where am I influencing? Is it for today, tomorrow, a year from now, or five years from now? Am I being very tactical in what I’m doing, focused on today and tomorrow, or am I looking toward things that will happen two years from now?”
Looking across the horizon at the long-term helps to move you away from a tactician into a strategist and offers a more visionary outlook.
Consider Your Degree of Influence
Think about the people around you who can help you achieve your mission. During the Forbes Leadership webinar, “Transitioning from Tactician to Strategist,” Munsch talks about her mentors who demonstrated by example how to operate through influence. “I realized that you don’t have to be the one to do it to get it done [and] you can accomplish a lot through influence,” according to Munsch. By understanding your own skills and leveraging the skills around you, through collaboration, you can not only accomplish your mission but also help your team and organization strive for excellence.
Becoming a Change Agent
In more tactical roles, change is limited to your immediate tasks. Yet a strategist has a different mindset and isn’t afraid of making more impactful changes. Often a strategist is thinking of the bigger picture and where they want to be five years from now. They have a vision in mind. “When you’re talking strategy, long-term goals, and transformational change, your arms should be out wide and big and moving like you’re conducting,” says Munsch. “You can’t do that with T-Rex arms.”
To read more of Munsch’s thoughts on moving from a tactician to a strategist, read the full Forbes article here.