Join Jeff Weiner for an in-depth discussion in this video Vision to values: Strategy, part of On Leadership by Jeff Weiner.
- Okay. Strategy. So strategy is interesting and oftentimes can be a Rorschach test in terms of how people define it. Sometimes people refer to strategy in their thinking mission. Other times, when people talk about strategy, they're referring to what I would call operating tactics. Strategy is to some extent how you're going to make your mission become a reality. It's how you navigate the competitive landscape, and increasingly the technological landscape, to achieve your mission. The fundamental key here is the ability to understand your competition and competitive dynamics. If you're establishing a mission, vision, value propositions, and a target audience in a vacuum, and you're not thinking about your competition, you're going to be in trouble. And a lot of companies, particularly smaller startups, they become so focused on what they're trying to do. They don't take the time to understand how other people are trying to do something similar and then focus on how they're going to develop competitive advantage, how they're going to, distinguish themselves in the marketplace. What unique advantages they should continue to double down and invest in to delineate and differentiate themselves from the competition. Strategy is absolutely paramount towards an organization achieving success. But if you end up spending too much time focused on the competition, what happens? You become reactive and not proactive. Now you're following and now not leading. You're playing the game by somebody else's rules. There's no faster way to lose in business than to just try to imitate and react and follow your competition every step of the way, you're not going to beat the competition by being the competition. You're going to beat the competition by being yourself, by playing to your company's strengths, by understanding the other dimensions of values that we've already talked about and remaining true to that. There's going to be a huge temptation, when your competition emerges and may start gaining some traction to knee jerk, to try to imitate them. People get a little panicky. You should be paying attention. If you stick your head in the sand, when competition arises, what happens? You're going to leave yourselves vulnerable, right? Because they could undermine you. They could come out with a product that's better. They could come out with a product that's cheaper. They could start to innovate, change the game on you. You've got to pay attention. So there's a balance to be struck on the strategic front. Very, very important. Unlike mission and vision and culture and values, our strategic objectives change every year. And if your strategy's not changing, you should probably dig a little deeper. Just given how dynamic the marketplace is. Certainly, when you operate within technology or an internet based business,
Learn about the importance of maintaining awareness of yourself, your team, your industry, and the world at large. Explore the topic of synthesis, which you achieve through developing your vision and values and by focusing on the most important priorities. Plus, learn about the role of inspiration in leadership, both in terms of being true to your own values and motivating others.