‘Hey Manas, You are not there yet when it comes to strategy. You can get things done, but you need to develop your strategy skills.’ This is a feedback I got repeatedly from one of my past managers.

For a long time in my career, I had this reputation of someone who is a terrific execution guy - who gets shit done, but does not think long term/strategically. As I wanted to grow into a more senior role, I naturally decided to learn the mysterious strategic skills that was holding me back.

I read like a dozen books and hundreds of posts on competitive strategy. Not an exaggeration. I literally read a dozen books.

Now I could draw flywheels and do 7 powers analysis in my sleep. Was it enough?

Nope. Because what people don’t tell you is when they talk about strategy in middle management they don’t actually mean strategy in a pure sense.

What they really want you to do is:

You will find dozens of these process documents here: How to run a product team

Trust me, I have never seen anyone do 7 powers analysis or draw Porter’s 5 forces diagram in any of the company I have worked at.

Just do all the things I mentioned above. That’s it. Now you are someone who is strategic.