Berger Leadership Blog

Categories: Leadership

6 questions to ask if you have a strategic mindset

Dan BergerWe associate hard work with success. We set personal and professional goals, develop plans to achieve them, and then get to work. But what happens when you struggle, or life doesn't go according to plan? Great leaders and achievers don't let setbacks derail them; rather, they reflect on what went wrong and what they can do differently to meet their goals.

Author David Robson, who writes on decision making and behavior, published a recent article in which he stresses the importance of having a strategic mindset to reach goals. He reviewed findings from the University of Singapore in which researchers looked at metacognition and how aware people are of their own way of thinking.

With a strategic mindset, people continuously question and refine their approach. To determine if you're on the right path to this frame of mind, consider how often do you ask yourself these questions and then rate yourself (1=never, 5=all the time):

  • When you're stuck on something: What are things I can do to help myself?
  • When you feel like you're not making progress: Is there a better way of doing this?
  • When you feel frustrated: How can I do this better?
  • When you feel challenged: What are things I can do to make myself better at this?
  • When you are struggling: What can I do to help myself?
  • When something feels difficult: What can I do to get better at this?

If you ask yourself these questions frequently, you're more likely to have a strategic mindset.

In addition to being open to questioning where you stand and if your approach is really the right one, leaders and achievers also demonstrate high levels of passion and perseverance – or grit. This is where the hard work = success theory comes into play. You must be willing to put in the time and effort to achieve your goals.

Success doesn't happen overnight, and it definitely doesn't come easy. As we lead our organizations through the coronavirus pandemic, we must constantly analyze the landscape in front of us. What we've traditionally done to achieve growth and success likely needs to change as consumer behaviors and needs shift. Use these tips to develop a strategic mindset – and review my blog from last week on the role of failure in your decision-making process – to help yourself and your team be nimble enough to adapt to changing circumstances.

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About the Author

B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU

Dan BergerB. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry. Since becoming president and CEO in 2013, Berger, who is also an author, economist, and one of Washington's top lobbyists, is credited with bringing national attention to key policy issues, while ensuring NAFCU's members meet policymakers at the highest levels of government.

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