Strategic Leadership Skills2. Challenge:Strategic leaders challenge the status-quo. Strategic leaders are not afraid to question assumptions – their own as well as those of others. Strategic leaders almost never make decisions in a hurry. They are open-minded, accept divergent views without their bias interfering in the process, and above all, listen.Example: Steve Jobsepitomizes the quality of challenging the status-quo. He created markets that others had failed to anticipate. In the process, he created products that had aesthetic appeal, great performance, and unique features. He deliberately chose the path of differentiation and premium pricing. In an age when technology is driving prices down, one has to marvel at Apple’sability to price its latest iPhoneat over $1,000. We can get a glimpse of Jobs’ fascination for perfection from the following anecdote: During the final moments before hepassed away, and as doctors prepared him for another surgery, Jobs apparently kept arguing about the crude oxygen mask! Even when he knew that the end was near, he was not willing to settle for a mediocre product.Strategic Leadership SkillsGuidelines to improveyour ability to challenge:1.Focus on the cause, not the symptom. For example, if revenues fall by 5%, ask why. Don’t give up till you find out the cause and come up with a solution.2.Ask yourselfabout the long-standing assumptionsabout yourself, your organization, your processes, and your people. Don’t be afraid of modifying or even giving up some assumptions when you find they are no longer valid.3.Develop a culture of psychological safety– create a time and a place where people can express their views openly without the fear of ridicule.4.Examine the feasibility of creating a rotating positionwith the specific mandate to challenge the status-quo.5.Ensure that a team has diversity in thought– having a group of like-minded people may sound great, but is a sure recipe for mediocrity.