Having a strategic mindset is the basis of successful leadership, it supplements your hard work with careful attention to strategy. Reflecting on what is working and identifying flaws to optimise along the way – much like an agile process.
“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration”Thomas Edison
In his article Robson refers to Metacognition as our awareness and understanding of our own thought processes or ‘thinking about thinking’. He provides analysis of a recent paper published by the National Academy of Sciences and explains how having a strategic mindset might be the difference between success and failure.
To assess your strategic mindset Chen and the authors of the paper put together a short questionnaire, simply rate the questions below on a scale of 1 for never and 5 for all the time. The higher your score the more likely you have a strategic mindset.
- When you are stuck on something, how often do you ask yourself: “What are things I can do to help myself?”
- Whenever you feel like you are not making progress, how often do you ask yourself: “Is there a better way of doing this?”
- Whenever you feel frustrated with something, how often do you ask yourself: “How can I do this better?”
- In moments when you feel challenged, how often do you ask yourself: “What are things I can do to make myself better at this?”
- When you are struggling with something, how often do you ask yourself: “What can I do to help myself?”
- Whenever something feels difficult, how often do you ask yourself: “What can I do to get better at this?”
“A strategic mindset uniquely predicts how much people report actively using strategies and, in turn, how effective they are at pursuing goals across life domains”by Patricia Chen, Joseph T. Powers, Kruthika R. Katragadda, Geoffrey L. Cohen, and Carol S. Dweck
‘Grit’ a term often referred to as representing passion and perseverance, while incredibly important to achieving positive life outcomes was found to be largely unrelated to ‘Strategic Mindset’ and that each construct contributed seperate things to a persons’ success.
When considering if it was possible to develop a strategic mindset the paper’s authors ran tests with 356 participants to see how they would tackle a task, half the group were given a paper on the basic concepts associated with strategic mindset the others were left to tackle the task without guidance. Those who had read the article were more inquisitive and reflective and took more opportunities to adapt behaviour, they outperformed the control group by a significant margin.
- The strategic mindset describes the tendency to question and refine your current approach.
- Those with a strategic mindset are much more likely to succeed
- A strategic mindset can be developed
Synopsis of two articles 'This Mindset Matters as Much as Intelligence and Grit for Success' from Inc. by Jessica Stillman Published 11th August 2020 Read full article here: https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/this-mindset-matters-as-much-as-intelligence-grit-for-success.html and 'The mindset you need to succeed at every goal' from BBC by David Robson Published 22nd July 2020 Read full article here: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200722-the-mindset-you-need-to-succeed-at-every-goal "A strategic mindset: An orientation toward strategic behavior during goal pursuit" Research article from PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Patricia Chen, Joseph T. Powers, Kruthika R. Katragadda, Geoffrey L. Cohen, and Carol S. Dweck https://www.pnas.org/content/117/25/14066