Episode 190: Roger Martin – Playing To Win: Strategy Is A Choice

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The Learning Leader Show

“Strategy is about making specific choices to win in the marketplace.  It requires making explicit choices to do some things and not others.”

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • Common themes of leaders who sustain excellence:
    • Relentlessly look at the future
    • They have a curious mindset… Always asking questions
    • They ask: “Is what we’re doing sustainable?”
  • Why A.G. Lafley was such a great strategic leader
  • You should always ask the question, “How can I put myself out of business?  And think to innovate based on that answer
  • Marrying innovation and strategic thinking: the dangers of doing this
  • What era does all of our data come from?  The past… Think carefully about that
  • You cannot always “prove” innovation.  You can’t always base the future on the past.
  • Aristotle — Brought us analysis… How to prove/demonstrate something is true
  • You can’t ever analyze how to change the world… Steve Jobs would say “Imagine the possibilities.”
  • “Strategy is a choice.  Where to play and how to win.”
  • Roger explains how to test if you have a real strategy
  • Best advice he’s received and given:
    • 1) “Don’t start on the easy stuff.  Do the hard tasks first.  If you work on the hardest problems, you’ll find that the easier ones seem to disappear
    • 2) Less is more.  Figure out one thing you do really well and focus on it.
    • 3) “Don’t intellectualize people.”  “Don’t try to fool them, treat them as people… As you would want to be treated.”
  • Highly successful people make a list of the Top 10 things to do that day and tackle the toughest problems first
  • Managing what matters most — Must have a strategy to know what’s most important
    • Peter Drucker’s work — The Effective Executive

“Too often CEO’s will allow what’s urgent to crowd out what’s really important.  It’s wrong to define strategy as following best practices.  This creates sameness and sameness is not a strategy.  It’s a recipe for mediocrity.”

Continue Learning:

You may also like these episodes:

Episode 078: Kat Cole – From Hooters Waitress To President of Cinnabon

Episode 071: Nate Boyer – Green Beret, Texas Football, The NFL

Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 107: Simon Sinek – Leadership: It Starts With Why

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Episode edited by the great J Scott Donnell

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