Leaders often react to new situations by asking, “What have I gotten myself into?” The good news is that that is exactly the right question. As Steven Covey put it, “Seek first to understand.” Seek to understand the context for your leadership and then make choices around where to focus with that context in mind. This will make things in the future much more straightforward.

We suggest thinking about this in three steps: What? So what? Now what?

  1. Understand the organization’s history, recent results and scenarios for business and competitive conditions. (What).
  2. Align around an interpretation of the situation assessment (So what).
  3. Make clear choices around where to play and where not to play (Now what).

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