Class 2, Week 11
Change in Strategic Leadership Understanding
A strategic leader, to be successful, ought to be a strategic thinker. I have learned a lot on strategic leadership in this line of thinking. Not just anyone can be picked out from the crowd and be made a leader, specifically becoming a strategic leader. I have now understood that for one to become a strategic leader, they ought to apply strategic thinking. Strategic thinking applies various ideas. The strategic leader considers their organization on a larger perspective and how this affects, directly or indirectly, the expectations of their role within the organization. They should also be able to understand their intention for the organization, such that they have clarity on goal achievement and prioritization (Carucci, 2016). Intelligent opportunism is yet another thought I have gained on strategic leadership, viewing the importance of including staff in the company’s strategy so that goal realization is effected by the organization as a whole. Strategic leaders are vision-driven, so that their efforts are motivated by where they are supposed to be in set time goals, while applying a creative and analytical way of thinking that provides creative ways of achieving organizational goals. In short, I have come to view strategic leadership as an all-encompassing role that considers the position and organization wholesomely.
The strategic leader, further, has to be willing to learn. This means that they disengage themselves from only delegation and submerge themselves in their role. They have to place themselves at their subordinates’ level as well as at their superiors’ level, while listening to the views of all those that make up the organization. At this point, the strategic leader is then able to make decisions, not from a skewed point of view, but in a more informed manner that is not only beneficial to the company’s growth, but is also beneficial to their growth as a leader (Kallmyr, n.d.). This creates room for change for the leader. The change and growth they experience is not only for them, but also for the organizational staff that learns from set examples. The strategic leader ends up providing a much-needed, reliable support systems and guidance for those they work with. A strategic leader provides the direction that the company should follow.
Characteristics of Successful Strategic Leaders
To make a strategic leader, I believe there are a set of characteristics that are most significant and effective. With this in mind, these characteristics may be detailed in combination with others to make sense of strategic leadership. An important characteristic of a strategic leader is their ability to balance the vision they have with the execution of the same. Being a visionary is a requirement for a strategic leader. This means they have clarity on short and long-term objectives, while ensuring that there are actions in line with this to help bring the goals to life. This also calls for effective communication with company staff for team effort on the goal realization. They also have to be focused on collaboration (Achieveit, n.d.). A strategic leader is said to be one who holds a lot of important information that comes in handy in the various decision making dockets, but it is important to note the importance of valuing the input of coworkers aside from the confidence they would have in their own knowledge. Coworkers, many times, have great ideas that would steer the company in the right direction. Having multiple perspectives helps give the strategic leader options to work with, so that the best are applied while encouraging an open environment. The organization’s vision is brought to life in the process, with the flexibility of adaptation to change.
The strategic leader should be open to learning. Knowledge can never be exhausted. They ought to be curious and be motivated to learn more about the organization itself, the competition, and the industry in general. Widening the knowledge base helps the leader anticipate better and in a more effective manner. Better planning and vision development occurs in the process. They are in a better position to anticipate challenges and opportunities in their line of work. Lastly, the strategic leader ought to be a decision maker that is not only data-driven, but is also transparent. They have to be motivated to access data that would help improve their organizational business while understanding the value that this data adds onto goal realization. The role of this data in strategy development and decision making is just as significant. Their decisions have to be based on data so that there is clarity on how decisions have been arrived at (Giles, 2016). This also means that they need to be good communicators. The staff better understands the importance of transparency in decision making. Not only is the data-driven mindset focused on effective decision making, it also helps in standing out against competitors in the market. Strategic leaders make it possible for the anticipation of challenges and opportunities, data evaluation, feedback from within and without the organization, as well as motivation to take action wherever and whenever needed.
Achieveit.(N.D.). 4 Characteristics of Phenomenal Strategic Leaders. Achieveit.com. https://www.achieveit.com/resources/blog/4-characteristics-phenomenal-strategic-leadersCarucci, R. (2016). Make strategic thinking part of your job. Harvard Business Review.
Giles, S. (2016). The most important leadership competencies, according to leaders around the world. Harvard Business Review, 15.
Kallmyr. (N.D.). Strategic Thinking and Strategic Leadership. Kallmyr.com. http://www.kallmyr.com/strategic-thinking-and-strategic-leadership/