Sometimes the river flows East and sometimes the river flows West: Leadership and Strategic Thinking

John Cousins
February 7, 2023
2 min read

Leadership requires strategic thinking. This requires continuously monitoring the external environment and being ready with revising tactics to meet your strategic goals. It requires consistency and discipline to remain true to the plan, as well as the flexibility to change both plan and strategy when circumstances change.

Leaders must have a level of comfort with change and ambiguity. Leaders need to develop the ability to objectively assess the changing needs of the organization and its stakeholders.

The Chinese have a saying,

sometimes the river flows East and sometimes the river flows West.

Things change with time and different ways of perception emerge. We must be aware of these changes and go with the flow. In order to follow the course of your life, you must let it flow.

The ability to detect emerging patterns and help them take shape is an important attribute of leadership.

A leader needs a passionate vision, skills to communicate that vision, and strategic thinking and implementation skills to make that vision reality. Focus on keeping things moving forward. Leaders are obligated to provide and maintain the momentum.

You will ultimately learn leadership and how to wield it by being in thrall to a compelling vision of the future that you want to actively participate in. It will act like a natural force like gravity and will guide you like a pole star. If you can articulate your vision to yourself and others convincingly, they will follow you and you will follow it.

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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