We vastly underestimate the power that motives of self-preservation, safety, and security play in an organization’s strategic planning process. Somehow, we’ve concluded that good strategy stems from the rational integration of data, learning, insight, sense-making, and decisiveness. But is it possible that one of the greatest invisible contributors to a strategy is the tendency towards self-preservation? We first have to dig into our subterranean emotional drivers, examine our own complicity, and regard ourselves with the sober self-awareness necessary to name biases and acknowledge other non-strategic factors. Only then can we get to the data, learning, insight, and sense-making. Before strategic planning is strategic, it is psychological.