How to go from Being Tactical to Being Strategic
There are particular challenges that women face in terms of being perceived as strategic. Early in my career when I was doing my first 360, I got my results back – and you remember your first 360 I’m sure. One of the results that really struck me was that I was perceived as more tactical than strategic. And that wasn’t surprising to me, but I did identify it as a big barrier if I was going to proceed into more senior positions and so I worked with a coach and the first thing she said was "Tammy, if you want to be seen as more strategic, start asking different questions." So at first I laughed, how could that increase others perceptions of my strategic capability? And lo and behold it did.
I remember sitting in a meeting, I wasn’t part of the management team at the time, I was brought in as a subject matter expert and something was bothering me in the conversation. We were talking about how our customers were changing, and how they had really silly buying patterns and I thought to myself, we can’t look at it that way.
So I mustered up the courage and I said "something’s kind of striking me as odd in our conversation today… if we’re seeing a pattern of changing consumer preferences, how are we responding with our sales processes or solutions that we offer them?" And the room went silent. And at first I thought, what have I done? And in fact, what I did was ask a really strategic question because I showed the breadth of what I was thinking, I was making connections and I offered a confident point of view through that question. So I started practicing those techniques a little bit more.
If you want to see more of Tammy, you can see her live at The Art of Leadership in Vancouver!