By using strategic thinking, you can often turn frustration into opportunity. Strategic thinkers:
• Resist falling into the rut of reacting solely to the needs and demands of senior managers and line staff. Strategic thinkers develop an understanding of what needs to be accomplished by their work teams and strive to influence the way both senior managers and line staff view work priorities.
• Learn to be successful synthesizers of information. Senior managers rely on front-line or middle managers to translate policy directives and priorities from the top into useful and coherent instructions to line staff. Those who are able to successfully implement top-level decisions at the line-staff level are coveted by senior management. Senior staff members also rely on team leaders or managers to give them information about operational issues that they can use to make policies and set priorities. Strategic thinkers use this opportunity to provide information in ways that promote their priorities and the needs of their team members.
• Selectively champion goals and objectives that are important to them. Strategic thinkers identify one or two goals that are truly important and find ways to advocate for them among senior managers and line staff. Senior managers will quickly tire of someone who advocates for a wide variety of goals. However, if front-line and middle managers focus their efforts on a few important issues, senior managers—over time—will be tolerant and even come to expect specific reactions and feedback from them.