I had a boss once who said my greatest strength was an ability to think strategically. He also said even I – as directionally-challenged as I am – could learn to use a compass. He was, therefore, not always right.
That aside, living with a chronic condition like Essential Thrombocytosis (ET) reminds me that thinking strategically isn’t complex. It’s simply choosing actions which will achieve a clearly defined objective.
Because of the fatigue associated with ET, there are days the stairs in our house nearly defeat me. At the point where – literally – crawling is the only way I can make it upstairs, I am forced to implement the ‘refill energy’ strategy. This includes, among other things, a blend of gentle exercise and lying on the bed doing nothing. When I get to the Doing Nothing bit, I spend my time complaining about how I don’t like the fact that I need to do nothing.
The complaining doesn’t help. The doing nothing does.
My personal and professional objective is the same: to add value. Some days this looks like facilitating a meeting, working on an assignment, hanging out with my family, drinking good coffee.
Occasionally it looks like doing nothing.
Pre-ET, my strategy for adding value was about doing things. I’ve had to adjust the strategy to include doing nothings; adding value doesn’t look so frenetic anymore…and I’m more effective than I’ve ever been.
Whether running or walking or crawling, I always conquer the stairs.