Strategic leadership is one of the many types of leadership used worldwide to lead companies and businesses as well as several other parts of one’s life. However, to fully understand the definition of strategic leadership. We first need to understand the definition of strategy and how it’s incorporated into leadership.
I’m sure that if you are involved in any business-related sector, you’ve heard the word ‘strategy’ thrown around at least a dozen times. According to the Oxford English dictionary, the exact definition of the word is “a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim.” As stated in the said dictionary, the word strategy allows a person to set a clear game plan to reach their required goal.
Now how does this relate to leadership? Strategic leadership, in specific, is defined as a manager’s ability to articulate a strategic vision for a company or a section of it and motivate and persuade others to adopt that vision to achieve a set goal. Leaders and managers implementing this method of leadership develop a vision for their organization that allows it to adapt to or remain competitive in a changing economic and technical context employing various management approaches.
The importance and aim of strategic leadership?
It’s essential to know the importance and objective of strategic leadership to decide if it’s the best type of leadership for you, your company, and your employees. Each company is unique, having its own set of employees, goals, and management style, and that’s why it’s vital to fully comprehend each type of leadership before picking the most suitable one for you.
Strategic productivity is the core goal of strategic leadership. Another goal that comes hand in hand with strategic productivity is to create an atmosphere where people can foresee the organization’s requirements while doing their work. Employees at a company are encouraged to pursue their ideas by strategic executives. Strategic leaders utilize a more extensive compensation and incentive system to motivate productive and high-quality staff to work at a higher level for their company. To elevate strategic leadership to its full potential, it’s vital to use creativity, vision, and planning to help someone achieve their aims and future aspiration.
When picking strategic leadership as your choice of leading, you should bear in mind the following set of steps before starting to get a basic outline on how to proceed with this method and the outcome that should be expected. These steps include:
- To be strategic, leaders must first grasp their organization’s mission. This entails completely comprehending why the organization exists, its consumers, and how it can best serve them.
- Then, strategic leaders must construct a vision for how that mission will appear in the future.
Finally, strategic leaders must devise a plan to carry out their goals. The strategy should lay out the stages or modifications that a corporation must go from its current condition to its intended state.
Choosing a leadership method
As previously mentioned, there is an abundant variety of leadership methods that a company or leader could follow however the key is to figure out which method works best for you and those environing you. For example, one type could flawlessly fit into one’s company resulting in the company working like a well-oiled machine. But, on the other hand, that same type could be destructive to another person’s company and lead to its economic and social demise.
Qualities and characteristics of a strategic leader
Becoming a strategic leader is a step anyone can decide to take in life; it isn’t something that comes naturally or is built into our systems from day 1. It’s something you learn to improve upon the way you lead. Therefore the best way for someone to become a strategic leader is to educate themselves on what makes a person a strategic leader and what qualities they should develop and enhance. I won’t lie and say it’s easy to become a strategic leader suddenly.
It takes dedication, passion, and patience to achieve that type of leadership but similar to many things in life, to master the art of strategic leadership, you need to start somewhere. Hopefully, the following list of skills could be a good starting point for all those of you wishing to become a strategic leader or for those who want to improve upon their already acquired skills.
How about we start by elaborating on the skills already mentioned:
Kate Jacobs once said, “I’ll let you in on a little secret. We don’t all love our jobs every day. And doing something you have passion for doesn’t make the work part of it any easier…It just makes you less likely to quit.”
A frequent mistake people tend to make when choosing a future career or embark on a new project neglects their passion for it. You can have a dozen degrees; you can be the best at something or the smartest or the most efficient, but in the end, if you don’t have the passion for something, your failure is inevitable. One may argue that passion isn’t enough. However, that isn’t enough to love something, and I fully support that statement.
Being passionate about something doesn’t mean you don’t need to have a work ethic or that you don’t need to push your hardest to be the best. It simply means that passion gives you the drive to push harder and become the best by being passionate about something. However, if you didn’t like what you did, you would dread every day at work, and therefore you wouldn’t be able to dedicate all your efforts to it fully.
And most importantly, a strategic leader needs to love what they are doing because how are they supposed to convince their employees to follow the leader’s strategy if the leader themselves doesn’t isn’t passionate about that strategy. Imagine working every day for a leader who hates their job; not only would that suck the motivation out of every employee but also create a depressing atmosphere in the workplace.
Communication is one of the essential skills when it comes to leadership or even life in general. To be a successful leader, you need to convey your vision to your peers and employees properly; understanding your goals while not communicating them to those working with you is as impractical as not having any goals to start with.
Communication is a two-way street. You, as a leader, need to be able to communicate with your subordinates; however, your employees need also to feel like you have created a safe space where they can voice their opinions and complaints.
A great way to promote communication between a leader and their peers is transparency. Transparency encourages discussion about the significance of data and helps to improve routine procedures. If, for instance, productivity levels unexpectedly drop, this might be a chance to make a change. However, it may take a group effort to gain a deeper grasp of the situation; it will necessitate individuals to talk freely and honestly about their findings.
3. Distributing responsibility
Strategic leaders develop their understanding through training, which necessitates a certain degree of freedom. Leaders should delegate authority down the chain of command, allowing employees at all levels to make choices. The division of responsibilities allows aspiring strategic leaders to understand what happens when they take chances. It also boosts group intellect and agility. Using the expertise of individuals outside the usual decision-making structure also boosts the organization’s collective intelligence, flexibility, and resilience over time.
4. Positivity and optimism
This is a quality that many underestimate. When running a company, it’s very like that you will encounter several hardships along the road. These hardships could come in the form of economic obstacles that block your path, or they could appear as a drought of ideas; either way, these hardships could make or break your career. You could either decide that these obstacles define your success and that you are a failure because you made a mistake or hit a roadblock.
Or you could consider these obstacles an opportunity to hone the underdeveloped skills that have to lead you to make said mistake. Your view on a situation could completely transform a workplace’s environment. So look at the brighter side of things even when you feel like there isn’t one because your positive attitude will push your employees to work harder and not give up on finding a solution to the problem at hand.