The Alchemist – an Example of Strategic Thinking

By Jeri T Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International  4-12-2010 

Takeaways: Strategic thinking involves following your personal vision for your life and/or your business. The story of the Alchemist is a perfect example of how to stay true to your vision despite the many challenges that may arise.The Alchemist

You may be wondering how the book The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, ties into strategic thinking. It is the story of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who had a dream about finding his treasure at the foot of the Egyptian pyramids. There are lessons to be learned as you read about his journey. It’s about staying true to your vision of what you’re trying to accomplish, which is what strategic thinking is all about.

According to Coelho, each of us has a Personal Legend to follow – a personal dream, desired state, raison d’etre to fulfill. If we don’t pursue that dream, we find ourselves unhappy with our lives. In some cases,we can become physically ill as we strive to accomplish what others want us to do rather than pursue our personal desired outcomes. This is also called working against your grain – doing things that are not natural or inherent to your nature.

This is the story of the transforming power of listening to your heart and following your dreams, of having a vision for your future. Business leaders and entrepreneurs need to apply this same thinking to their businesses.  Thinking strategically about the future you are trying to create is called “systems thinking” – a powerful tool that generates long-term sustainability.

There are some religious overtones to the book. However, it is more spiritual and thought-provoking than promoting any particular religion. Ultimately, there is a great deal of strategic thinking throughout the book as the main protagonist follows his Personal Legend, reads the omens of the desert, and achieves his desired outcome.

It’s an easy, thought-provoking read. Not your typical management book. What’s your Personal Legend? Where are you going in life and in your business? Make sure you are following that Personal Legend and not a direction or path that takes you elsewhere.

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