December 5, 2017 Carole Levy

Happy Performance Review Season!

If you tend to be too tactical and are requested to become more strategic, it’s good news!

It means that others are inviting you to grow into a more substantial version of yourself.

“Strategic” is one of the scary words that can mean everything and nothing.

I define it as an invitation to increasingly develop our muscle of thinking in a more intuitive, creative, visionary, and profound way – for ourselves, our projects, our field and for others. It is an important part of continuing to grow as an adult. And unless you are stubbornly attached to a fixed mindset, you can’t, and wouldn’t want to escape this phase.

Although, often, we don’t know where to start. I have a few ideas:

  • First, block out a time on your calendar to be in front of a blank page of paper.
  • Second, acknowledge that the only real reason why it took you so long to sit down in front of your blank page, is the fear of letting go of something that makes you feel productive and relevant (tactical), for something that makes you feel clueless, inadequate and empty (strategic).
  • So, to motivate yourself, imagine the negative consequences if you don’t push your learning edge. For example: others with less seniority but more leadership might be promoted over you. How does that feel? Not good. But motivation by fear is a fragile driver.
  • Instead, imagine the beneficial consequences of stepping outside of your comfort zone. The freedom of being in a meeting and bringing your ideas to the table – or just brainstorming with others. The sense of agency to finally use your tactical skill to resolve complex issues. The genuine joy of having a vision to share with others while supporting them to grow. Or the relief of having a mandatory time every week to pause, organize your thoughts, and even clean your desk.
  • Once you’re connected to an inspiring vision, start with something simple. For example, look at your calendar and prepare your meetings for the following week with these things in mind: goal of the meeting, agenda, issues to address, ideas and intuitions to share, typical counter-productive behaviors and so on.
  • Asking yourself if you really need to be in this meeting might be your first strategic victory.

I am sparing you my “10 quick-fix-bullet-points” list to become more strategic, but here is December’s tip of the month: Make the time to pause and reflect, a sacred time in your life.

Happy Holiday Season!


Comments (2)

  1. Jennifer

    This is super relevant and helpful advice, Carole! Indeed it is performance review season in my company and many people are experiencing growth opportunities — it’s hard to know, from my position, how to specifically help them bridge the gap from one set of skills that has allowed them to be very successful and the next that will help them grow.
    Many many thanks and with such deep respect for your insight!!

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