5 Best Ways for Becoming a Strategic Thinking Introvert If You’re Not One

All introverts are not created alike. Introverts may range from the extremely artsy to the intensely intellectual.

One thing that is critical among all introverts is the necessity of strategic thinking skills to maneuver within a complex and potentially risky society.

There are several perilous situations non-strategic thinking introverts can find themselves in including:

  • Not thinking critically and solving complex problems.
  • Instability and insecurity in personal life.
  • Failure in setting and achieving ambitious goals.
  • Not taking time to recharge.
  • Neglecting to produce quality results.

The Indeed Editorial Team said strategic thinking is essential now more than ever because:

Strategic thinking is important because it leads you to be able to create a clear set of plans, goals, and new ideas. Regardless of the industry, you’re in, new trends can develop quickly and you need to be able to rapidly take advantage of them to capitalize on potential opportunities. By utilizing strategic thinking, you can become more skilled at capitalizing on new opportunities and forecasting trends.

The American Academy of Advanced Thinking (AAAT) describes strategic thinking introverts as INTJ, ISTJ, and INTP personality types or Strategists, largely because of their predilection towards intellectual pursuits.

Out of the eight introversion categories within the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI), AAAT determined that INTJs, ISTJs, and INTPs are the personality types most apt to leverage their intellect to gain power and influence.

Also, AAAT determined that strategic thinking introverts are most inclined to survive and thrive in a world described as “Domineering.” In a domineering world, strength, courage, and risk-taking are decorated whereas, weakness, quietness, and indecision are shunned. Strategic thinking introverts develop best practices for outthinking and outsmarting competitors and dissenters.

Critical thinking vs. Strategic thinking

As an INTJ personality type, I didn’t characterize myself as a strategic thinking introvert until later in life. I thought I was a critical thinker but thinking strategically felt different.

That is…until I became more introspective.

Critical Thinking Secrets explained the difference between critical thinking versus strategic thinking as:

Critical thinking is short-term analysis while strategic thinking involves planning and looking at futuristic outcomes. Critical thinkers will use data at hand to fix an issue or figure something out while the strategic thinker will look at how that problem is part of a bigger issue.

French philosopher Albert Camus famously said that our lives are the sum of the choices we make.

For most of my life, I have demonstrated critical thinking skills in making good decisions. However, I didn’t understand the long-term effects of what I wanted to accomplish until I examined the theme that reflected patterned behavior throughout my life.

I am a natural academician and wish for more scholars and intellectuals in the world.

I now know that authoring books laid the foundation for me wanting to encourage more introverts to gain power and influence by creating intellectual property.

My short-term activities showed this deep interest, but I had to unpack what it meant for achieving a specific result.

These results could be as small as orchestrating moves within my professional development initiatives or building a body of work as an advocate for this cause.

strategic thinking introvert

How to develop strategic thinking skills?

Advanced critical thinking skills are a plus for acquiring strategic thinking skills.

Having accumulated knowledge based on a wide range of reading and research allows you to decipher trends and patterns that serve as roadmaps for achievement.

There are a few recommendations for developing strategic thinking skills including:

Valuing education

To begin developing strategic thinking skills, education must be the core of your value system. Education must not be merely nice to have, but a need to have. Individuals who value education read as if their lives depend on it. They may have been educated formally or informally, but rarely are they not reading 4-5 books at a time. And the reading assumes a multidisciplinary approach to subject matters. In other words, it is a self-directed study where participants create their syllabus based on the subjects necessary to complete a goal and become subject matter experts.

These individuals create a practical curriculum designed for the journey towards an objective.

Developing a practical philosophy for thinking based on historical figures

History allows individuals to live vicariously through the lives of epic thinkers. These mandarins have paved the way for personal enlightenment.

A healthy reading of thinkers such as Alfred Adler, Milton Friedman, Carl Jung, Niccolò Machiavelli, Friedrich Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, and Thomas Sowell provides the basis for developing advanced critical thinking skills.

It takes deep, penetrating reading to pierce the veil of reality and human nature.

Becoming assertive and the will to power

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche based his philosophy on the human drive to attain and leverage power. Richard Dawkins’ “The Selfish Gene,” adds context to Nietzsche’s concept by reporting that humans are biologically hardwired to be selfish in their drive for survivability.

A will to power activates the desire to discover new ways of achieving a long-term goal by using ambition, greed, and selfishness as driving forces to gain power. Nietzsche did not view these variables as negative and believed that the dark side of individuals should be embraced rather than avoided.   

Thinking systematically

Systematic thinking is a methodical way of addressing problems to create viable solutions.

Albert Humphrey’s SWOT Analysis and Edward Brown’s IBAR Critical Thinking Method are two leading frameworks for becoming a more effective strategic thinker. Frameworks serve as a systematic checklist to dissect, diagnose, evaluate, and synthesize problems and solutions.

Humphrey’s SWOT Analysis allows a participant to evaluate individuals and organizations inside and out. Whereas Brown’s IBAR Critical Thinking Method allows participants to assess benchmarks and best practices for short and long-term planning.

Systems and methods are the hallmarks of strategic thinking.

Fostering a lifestyle of advanced thinking

Becoming a strategic thinking introvert is a concept already embedded within the psyche of the introverted personality. Solitude, reading, and research are foundational for the personality that bathes in the field of ideas.

All too often, individuals are encouraged to improve on their weaknesses instead of building on their strengths. In a complex, competitive, and often chaotic world, introverts must marshal their natural tendency for intellectual pursuits to create a world within their image. In short, introverts must create a subjective world within objective reality.

Related: How to Achieve More with an Introverted Lifestyle

Although all introverts have various strengths, they fundamentally possess the seed of independence, problem-solving, and self-awareness.

In a chaotic society, strategic thinking introverts are not only needed, but they may also be the only ones to save society from itself.

Sounds melodramatic?

Breakthrough innovations have often come through the genius of introversion.

And if the great inventions in society often come through these personality types, strategic thinking introverts have the resources and wherewithal to continue to reengineer society’s maladjustment.

Who else would have the relentless determination for such an effort?

—George McKinsey

References

Critical Thinking Secrets. (n.d.). Critical thinking vs. Strategic thinking. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/3pcaLCc.

Crystal’s Guide to Personality Types (n.d.). Crystal Knows. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/32mCSWk.

Desan, W. (n.d.). Jean-Paul Sartre. Britannica. Retrieved from: https://bit.ly/31sfhDI.

Indeed Editorial Team. (2021, March 2). 8 signs that you’re a strategic thinker (and how to develop strategic thinking skills). Indeed. Retrieved from: https://indeedhi.re/3J8jQUo.

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