Five core elements
For Michael MacCoby, ‘strategic intelligence’ requires foresight, systems thinking, visioning, motivating and partnering. (See the first three under Strategic Intelligence And Visionary Leadership.)
You might think of visioning as the pivotal element. Visioning combines foresight and systems thinking into a holistic view of the position you’re aiming for within the market place. And then uses the last two elements, motivating and partnering, to make the vision happen.
Engaging your team. The ability to sell the Vision by understanding what combination of reasons, rewards, relationships and responsibilities will motivate the different people on your team. And …
Hiring people with the competence and values needed to achieve the vision.
Understanding what customers and other stakeholders value.
Forming strategic alliances with those who share your values.
Building relationships inside and outside the organization, to further your own and others’ goals.
Requires trust, responsiveness, and a willingness to hear hard truths from partners.
Soft skills or real world skills?
Remember that MacCoby uses these terms – soft skills and real world skills – interchangeably. So you could be wondering why soft skills are so often left in the dust during uncertain or unstable times. Why so called hard skills are valued more than the ability to build relationships where trust and cooperation can flourish?
The missing link?
Studies by The Center for Creative Leadership found that leaders with soft skills were more able “to strike a balance between the bottom-line goals of the business and providing the support and direction that employees needed during periods of uncertainty.”
And more, “Effective leaders seem better at blending the softer leadership skills – trust, empathy and genuine communication – with the tough skills needed to keep an organization afloat during difficult times.” More on the study
MacCoby reminds us that all of these skills can be acquired – either learned personally, or by forming a partnership with someone who will balance your own attributes and bring missing skills to the table.
In my own experience, many Innergize clients seek out coaching and attend NLP programs because they are looking for ways to strengthen those real world skills.
More About …
Michael MacCoby is an anthropologist, psychotherapist, coach, consultant and author of several books including The Gamesmen, Why We Work and The Productive Narcissist. Over the years he has advised and studied CEOs at numerous organizations including SAS, Harmon Industries, AT&T, CP, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Asea Brown Boveri (ABB), Southwest Air, Volvo, Swedbank and The World Bank.