The 1940s brought big changes for Las Vegas, especially after federal and local authorities in Los Angeles began cracking down on illegal gambling circuits. Many of these shaken gamblers and gangsters sought refuge in Nevada. The oasis in the desert that was developed called Las Vegas came largely from the Strategist vision of two notorious mobsters.
“The winners are those who control the game,” Lansky said. “All the rest are suckers.”
Due to the Strategists enterprising character, they will bring the future to our organizations. Strategist as we refer to in our leadership patterns of behavior stands for coming up with a plan or idea carefully designed to serve a purpose or advantage. Strategists are good at selling their concepts, strategies, and plans. Think of them as elegant thinkers, always finding ways to persuade others to join their viewpoint and buy into their ideas. A distinct but subtle difference between a Strategic Thinker and a Strategist is that the strategic thinker encourages creative ideas from others but always brings it back to what makes sense for the team or organization. A Strategist, however, believes it is less fun at lower altitudes, so they are always thinking 20,000 feet above the status quo. Strategists are creative and innovative. They challenge our companies to move to the next level in a savvy and persuasive manner that can sometimes be perceived as manipulative.
It is like a chess game where the pieces are always moving around the chessboard as they try to out-think, out-maneuver, and out-strategize their opponent. They have a way of capturing our imagination as we dream and live their dreams. That is how Strategists draw us into their view and gain our buy-in. They thrive on doing things differently and carry us with them on the journey. Their energy and enthusiasm for taking risks with innovative ideas often leads the Strategist to success but can be overwhelming to the more conservative individuals. Strategists are visionary and a bit quixotic (idealistic dreamers) as they often lack details to accompany their creative ideas. To compensate for the lack of interest in details, they will leave the specifics and execution of the plan to others. They are not delegating for developmental purposes, but rather dumping the details onto someone. They believe this trivia is far too ground level or mundane.
Strategists love a challenge. They are extroverts with a competitive drive. They are liked by clients and are generally good company representatives. They enjoy brainstorming meetings, but rarely reach a consensus due to their elusive nature. The team often becomes frustrated with their lack of focus. They also believe it is acceptable to push boundaries to reach a goal, and afterward rationalize any compromise as a valid and necessary means to an end.
One Strategist client that comes to mind loved writing lengthy, self-promoting, and elaborate emails, copying everyone he thought would be impressed by his complex and sophisticated wording. He had a lot to say but didn’t consider his audience or their need for the information. Every email was an extravagant novel that no one had the time or patience to read. When questioned, his response was he “liked writing that way.” He enjoyed writing and talking in eloquent terms to get us to believe the latest idea he was selling. However, he often ended up rambling and off-topic, diluting the message, and frustrating the recipients.
With a Strategist, it is all about image. Pinning a Strategist down to a definitive answer or decision is like negotiating with Jello. They are intentionally ambiguous and elusive. We recommend telling them your opinion and asking their input, knowing that you will leave with a vague response. Then you do whatever you believe to be right, and as long as you make them “look good” to others, they will move on to the next big thing. But don’t ever forget, every company needs a little sizzle to keep us from falling prey to the status-quo!