A strategist is someone who makes a plan and teaches others how to execute said plan.
In order to make a plan, you must have a goal.
In order to teach, you must learn what it is you will pass on.
By acting on these two simple concepts, you can learn how to become a strategist.
Making a Plan
A plan is nothing but a step by step process that must be followed to the letter.
There are areas in which you can take a detour, but it all must lead back to your goal.
Before you can make a plan, you must establish a goal.
To establish a goal, you must find a problem you can realistically solve.
It’s easy to find a problem. There are millions, if not billions of micro-problems that you can solve as a strategist.
The difficult part is developing the optimal solution once you do find the problem.
This is where a plan comes in.
A plan is made up of three parts:
- The beginning.
- The middle.
- The end.
The start of plan is mostly research and preparation.
Ensure that you have all the tools you need to begin the execution of your plan.
Research may include, but is not limited to:
a. Reading books.
b. Watching videos, TV shows, and movies.
c. Studying research papers.
d. Writing everything that gets your attention down so you can come back to it later.
e. Saving images and videos so that you also have a visual representation of your research.
The tools you need include, but are also not limited to:
a. Software that makes things easier or unnecessary.
b. Notebooks and journals you can carry around.
c. The camera on your phone.
d. The people you talk to. (People are not tools, but their influence and knowledge are.)
e. Your reasoning and analysis.
Once you have all of these, you may proceed to the middle.
The middle is where all the exciting things happen.
This is where you get to experiment, ask for feedback, and repeat the loop.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.
However, that is the beauty of strategy.
You continue to test and perfect it until it works.
While in the middle, you also get to expand more on the beginning.
You don’t have to make do with the research and tools you already have.
You can add more to your repertoire because the experiments and feedback you received are calling on you to do so.
The middle can go on for ages, but the great thing about it is that it always leads you to the end.
The end is just a misnomer. Nothing really ends, especially when it comes to strategy.
There’s always something new to learn and discover.
You also have more to experiment on and get feedback on.
The end, however, is necessary to complete a cycle.
Just like in the agile methodology, a sprint ends, but another one begins.
To keep it simple, the end is you executing the strategy you learned.
By commencing execution, you continue to get feedback, data, and new knowledge, which leads you back to the beginning.
With all that being said, the end is supposed to test out whether or not you can reach your goal.
Even if you don’t reach your goal, you’re way ahead than if you hadn’t started at all.
How to Become a Strategist
This brings us back to how you can become a strategist.
To be a strategist means to continue planning and executing. Research, experiment, get feedback, collect data, execute, and repeat.
Strategy will never be perfect because things change by the millisecond.
A new trend is born, a new thought enlightens you, a new way of execution draws you in.
Strategy is fun and exciting.
To become a strategist, all you need to do is do what you love and make sure everyone on your team is able to understand and follow both your short and long-term plans.