How closely are your priorities tied to your company’s strategy?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How closely are your priorities tied to your company’s strategy?

  • Very. Everything I work on links directly to the strategy: 41%
  • Somewhat. Links exist, but I also have some unrelated priorities: 38%
  • Not very. Most of my work has no clear link to the strategy: 10%
  • Not at all. I don’t even know what our strategy is: 11%

Aligning activities to strategy. It’s encouraging to see 80% of you have a direct link between many of your priorities and the company’s strategy. For the activities that don’t seem aligned, ask why you’re doing them. Some are out of habit. Some are required by regulators. Some should simply be stopped but no one has ever said anything about it. Trim unnecessary activities on a regular basis. For those of you who don’t have a clear link to or understanding of the strategy, ask for it. Spend time reading your company website and annual report. Ask your managers and leaders to give you an update on the strategy. The better you understand it, the more effective you can be in your job.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."