One of the questions that I’ve been puzzling over for the past year is, “What makes behavior strategic?”

This question arose from my StrengthsFinder’s report, where it listed one of my strengths as “Strategic.” In the context of StrengthsFinder, that is someone who “can sort through the clutter to find the best route.”

I wrote earlier this week on the benefit of questions and one of the effects of having a good long term question is that it sifts gold from the dust of your experience. Just by holding the question across the passage of time, answers begin to appear as your mind forms connections.

Some of the gold that I’ve sifted from the river is:

  • The location of strategy is at the beginning of an endeavor. Strategy concerns how you start ( Beginnings as Leverage Points ). Additionally, you can always start again, at any moment, and give yourself the opportunity for strategy.
  • A strategic perspective is oriented towards anticipation and prediction. What could happen?
  • Strategic behavior is about working in the future. It’s about making choices that warp the possible in your favor.
  • The practice of strategy is planning. The product of strategy is a plan.

Beyond just honing my strengths, I’ve been curious about how to approach small business growth from a strategic lens. As in, “What does a strategic approach to small business growth look like?”

The short answer is that it’s the development and execution of a growth plan. The long answer I’ll explore in future posts.

Featured image is Phidias Showing the Frieze of the Parthenon to Pericles, Aspasia, Alcibiades and Friends, by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 1868. Pericles held the title of “Strategos,” an ancient greek military general role that is the origin of the word strategy. He fought Sparta in the Peloponnesian War and initiated the project to build the Parthenon. This painting has to be one of my favorites that I’ve encountered. Used under public domain.