Here’s a book that recently crossed my desk with little fanfare. After taking a look through its contents, I’m surprised that more hasn’t been made of Erika Andersen’s new release Being Strategic: Plan for Success, Out-think Your Competitors, Stay Ahead of Change.
Andersen, who also authors her own blog, is known for her work as a coach and advisor to senior executives. Many of the companies with whom she’s worked are in the mass media business. In fact, her resume reads like the on-screen listings guide from my cable TV service: NBC, CBS, MTV, etc.
In Being Strategic, Andersen provides a breakdown of the skills involved in strategy. As she admits in her introduction, the word “strategic” shows up nearly every day, yet how many different definitions of “strategy” have you heard over the length of your career? To draw a parallel with a bit of Asian philosophy, “strategy” is like water, it takes the shape of whatever container currently holds it. Of course somewhere along the line, the container gets tipped over and its contents spill out all over the place!
Fortunately, Andersen turns liquid to solid through her use of the metaphor of building a castle. Considering that the goals most of us are asked to accomplish are as lofty and labor-intensive as constructing a medieval castle, Andersen chose wisely when coming up with this comparison. Her book is filled with excellent examples from Andersen’s travels, and she has the writing skills to help carry her readers from the valley to the hilltop without losing them along the path.
Of course, Andersen isn’t a stranger to Soundview. We were quite fond of her previous book Growing Great Employees. Check out her newest release and start your path to your castle. Just watch out for trolls along the way!