The Importance of Being a Pragmatic Strategist

We recently discussed why developing your skills as a visionary leader is essential to success. But a vision is only as good as its execution. The best ideas in the world are meaningless if they're poorly implemented.

That said, there are only so many things within your control when it comes to bringing your vision to life. Many aspiring entrepreneurs and seasoned business leaders alike find themselves constrained by market conditions, organizational limitations, and resource challenges. That's just the reality of the world we live in. And that's why emerging leaders need to develop their ability to be pragmatic strategists.

Being a pragmatic strategist means assessing your situation, recognizing the resources at your disposal, and strategizing accordingly. It's about being practical about what you can realistically achieve with your assets and any external influences beyond your control. 

For example, your business would be far easier to manage if you had a personal assistant, a fully staffed team, a well-equipped finance department, and a seamless production unit. But in reality, a bootstrapped startup usually can't afford to pay a fully fleshed-out team and often requires a different approach.

Scaling up a startup demands a pragmatic perspective. Instead of waiting for the ideal conditions, a pragmatic strategist leverages the available resources and initiates action. It's a hands-on approach, taking the lead on tasks that might otherwise be delegated to a lower-level employee in a more prominent, established firm. 

It's also essential to set an example for others, fostering a culture of continuous improvement, encouraging the team to think inductively and to find innovative solutions to obstacles. Walking the walk and talking the talk is crucial to cultivating a culture that practices continuous improvement. This starkly contrasts many enterprise-level businesses, where the conventional approach is to develop a business plan and ask for resources. 

Instead, a pragmatic strategist makes short-term plans and takes action in response to shifting conditions and restraints, demonstrating what can be achieved with the existing resources. This accelerates progress and instils a lean mindset within the organization, which can lead to more sustainable growth.

To put this into practice, consider conducting an ERRC (Eliminate, Reduce, Raise, Create) exercise on your current activities. Evaluate what can be eliminated or reduced, identify areas to raise efficiency, and create new strategies to align with your vision. This exercise helps order activities for the next strategic plan, ensuring you remain agile and flexible in response to evolving circumstances.

Ultimately, being pragmatic will enable you to remain agile and flexible. By developing skills as a pragmatic strategist, you will optimise your operations and set your business up for long-term success. 

For those eager to delve deeper into Growth Leadership, we have a comprehensive Program soon! 

If you are ready to become a Growth Leader, here are 3 ways I can help you:

  1. Read my blog with more of these articles.

  2. Join the Growth Letter (Saturday) and get a headstart with one actionable insight every week. Let's Lead with impact, Let's G(r)O(w)!

  3. Schedule a Clarity call to discuss Growth Leadership topics; I'll share all the insights to help you instantly boost your team's performance.

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