In speaking about leadership, I sometimes speak about "lead-manage-do". It's difficult - if not impossible - to provide a strategic, forward-thinking direction for your organization if you are too focused on the day-to-day. Leaders need to step back, and get a view "from the balcony", to put things in perspective.
Strategic thinking doesn't come naturally. You need to put in some additional effort to make it work. Paul Schoemaker wrote in Inc Magazine about 6 habits of strategic thinkers that might help you to take that next step:
1. Anticipate what's ahead
Look for game-changing information at the periphery of your industry. Search beyond the current boundaries of your business. Build wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better.
2. Think critically
Reframe problems to get to the bottom of things, in terms of root causes. Challenge current beliefs and mindsets, including your own. Uncover hypocrisy, manipulation, and bias in organizational decisions.
3. Analyze the data
Seek patterns in multiple sources of data. Encourage others to do the same. Question prevailing assumptions and test multiple hypotheses simultaneously.
4. Make a decision
Carefully frame the decision to get to the crux of the matter. Balance speed, rigor, quality and agility. Leave perfection to higher powers. Take a stand even with incomplete information and amid diverse views.
5. Understand the politics
Understand what drives other people's agendas, including what remains hidden. Bring tough issues to the surface, even when it's uncomfortable. Assess risk tolerance and follow through to build the necessary support.
6. Learn from mistakes & successes
Encourage and exemplify honest, rigorous debriefs to extract lessons. Shift course quickly if you realize you're off track. Celebrate both success and (well-intentioned) failures that provide insight.