The Most Strategic Leaders Excel in 4 Disciplines

Strategic fitness is a leader’s ability to learn from and adapt to their environment to set direction and create a competitive advantage. A study of 77 C-suite executives over four years found that strategically fit leaders excel in four disciplines : 1) Strategic fitness, or setting clear direction and calibrating when necessary; 2) Leadership fitness, or refining their style to meet the moment; 3) Organizational fitness, or investing in thinking about the future state of the business; and 4) Communication fitness, or effectively collaborating with internal and external stakeholders. This article offers a series of questions that can help any leader evaluate and exercise their own strategic fitness.

During a safari in Kenya, I watched a pride of lions stalk a herd of zebra in silence for nearly 90 minutes. At that point, a lion cub rose up from his crouched position, and the zebra scattered. The female lions growled at the playful cub and moved on, well aware that their pride’s survival was wholly dependent on their fitness — their ability to adapt to their environment and gain advantage in the form of food.

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