Enabling Strategy with Purpose


The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs by Cynthia A. Montgomery brings purpose directly into strategy and illustrates the essential nature of it in developing a sound strategy. The two are closely linked and in a real, results-oriented way.

Leading with Purpose and Strategy

“You and every leader of a company must ask yourself whether your strategy is a real system of value creation – a clearly defined purpose tightly backed by a set of mutually reinforcing parts.” (The Strategist, page 78)

The Strategist excels in driving purpose through in a way that is real, practical, and necessary to make strategies work. Here are four relevant elements of purpose in strategy, as defined by the author:

  • “A good purpose is ennobling.” There needs to be a level of inspiration; it delivers meaning to the people in the organization and the work they do.
  • “A good purpose puts a stake in the ground.” It defines what the organization will be and not be. It is about trade-offs.
  • “A good purpose sets you apart; it makes you distinct.” It is not about generic descriptions – software company or non-profit organization. It is what makes the organization different from others and what may drive innovation and approach.
  • “Above all, a good purpose sets the stage for value creation and capture.” It must create good economic outcomes.

The ultimate question is:

“If your company disappeared today, would the world be different tomorrow?” (The Strategist, page 56)

This is a tough, necessary question to answer and then lead from it and build a strategy on it.

The Strategist delivers a strong message in a subtle way. The more you think about the concepts in the book, the more it challenges us in how we lead and why a purpose-filled strategy is necessary.

Purpose plays a core role in strategy, and we need to embrace it fully.

What strategy books do you value in your leadership library?


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations. 

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