Strategic Leadership

Strategic Leadership

Strategic leadership is critical for success, especially in rapidly changing and uncertain times. The danger for business leaders can be that they focus too much on the detail of day-to-day issues. It is important, therefore, to get your head up to look at the bigger picture. You can then define and drive your strategic objectives.

We have come through the very difficult period of the pandemic and are still not in calm waters. Whilst getting stuck into operational tasks is relatively easy, it is often harder to see the bigger picture and the consequences of decisions.  People issues can be a distraction too. Strategic leadership is even more important when times are tough. However, Judgement Index® results show that strategic thinking is frequently the weaker element for most people.

“Strategic thinking rarely occurs spontaneously” Michael Porter

What is Strategic Leadership?

Like a ship’s pilot, navigating the stormy waters of the post-pandemic world requires a steady hand at the helm. A strategic leader sets the direction, navigates, mitigates risk, and gets everyone safely and swiftly to the desired destination. It is someone who knows where the ‘ship’ is headed and can re-assure the crew.

“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm” Publilius Syrus

It is important as a strategic leader that you work on finding ways to see things from a larger perspective. If you get lost in the situation or process details, it can be hard to see how the parts interconnect. This requires prioritizing among actions, details, or choices. It is also seeing a pattern, recognizing connections, and weighing the likely outcomes ahead of time.

You can help yourself by asking for advice and suggestions from others, especially in complex matters. It provides different perspectives. This is very important when making decisions that could have serious consequences.

Strategic leadership is recognising that thinking is not the same as actioning. It requires the ability to convert insights into actions in the workplace. The action might even be not to implement a certain strategy. Thinking without action achieves little.

Strategic Self-Awareness

I recommend you consider your capacity for strategic leadership and what evidence you have of your ability to plan ahead, envision new possibilities, and brainstorm options. If you are strong in this area, you are more likely to see the “big picture”, implications and consequences.

“To be completely honest with oneself is the very best effort a human being can make” Sigmund Freud

How well do you see the bigger picture and the consequences?

How clearly defined are your strategic objectives?

What % of your time do you spend on your strategic objectives?

What % of your time do you spend inspiring people to achieve those objectives?

How well do your team understand them?

What are the financial implications of this for you and your business?

How frequently do you review these objectives?

What is your vision for yourself in terms of strategic leadership?

What aspect of your strategic judgement would you most like to improve?

To find out more about developing your strategic leadership or accurately measuring your capacity for strategic judgement, please contact me.

Also published on Medium.

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