Traditionally, management relied on efficiency and meeting budget and time deadlines, however the market is becoming increasingly more saturated with intense competition and new innovations. A vital role in the success of any business lies in the hands of its leader, and their strategy. Strategic leadership has become increasingly popular among all sectors as research has shown and experience has witnessed its clear advances. This article will discuss:
● What is strategic leadership?
● Role of strategic leadership in success
● Principles of a strategic leader
What is Strategic Leadership?
Strategic leadership is ‘the ability to anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility and empower others to create strategic change as necessary’. They focus their time and attention on activities and decisions that will improve business results. This concept enables a project strategy to be created, which is connected to the business strategy; and a clear project vision should be well communicated to all employees. They are concerned on a day to day basis with customer needs, competitive advantage, and future market success. An operational leader or manager, focuses on short-term results and delivery, precisely on schedule and budget targets. Punctuality is critical to business success; however, long-term revenue is only achieved when a strategic perspective is used.
Role of Strategic Leadership in success
Strategy involves choosing among different options and creating an organizational plan, which is better equipped for achieving the organization’s goals and strategic leadership should purposely exploit change. Leadership is centered around creating a vision to increase profits. Fundamentally, strategic leadership allows business to generate long-term wealth. Sustainability in all sectors depends on its ability to constantly transform business opportunities into growth and profits. This concept increases flexibility and adaptability to new, unpredicted demands, the development of imaginative minds, creative thinkers and an innovative team. This will be achieved when strategic leaders recognise and act in accordance to their principles.
The ﬁrst Ford Taurus was the best selling car in America in the late 1980s. It used a unique standard for project leadership. The car was a significant success, and customers loved the product. The leader exploited cross-functional teams and concurrent engineering practices, established a good relationship with vendors and subcontractors, and was characterized for possessing a strategic spirit and focusing on customer needs and securing synergy with the business. However, the project manager was ﬁred after the completion of the project because he finished the project three months late. The same car was later remodeled. But in contrast to the old manager, the new project manager made sticking to schedule the ultimate goal, while sacriﬁcing other issues. Despite the project being finished on time, it was a failure in comparison with the first model.
Principles of a Strategic Leader
Different principles of being a strategic leader having an entrepreneurial mindset that results in constant and conscious attempts to achieve growth. Leaders must be able to predict and anticipate what the future entails, the best decisions to make, and when to make them after they interpret the market. It is crucial that they intuitively, understand and recognize opportunities and necessary change. Building a strategy and anticipating what the market wants is stimulated by challenging the status-quo. Leaders should creatively think outside the box and innovate what consumers didn’t know they needed. A strategic leader should be competent in making decisions under stress, however more importantly, delivering results. Last, but equally significant, is to base those decisions and strategy on evidence and educated predictions that will exploit revenue and create opportunity.
In summary, for ultimate revenue a strategic leader is necessary for any corporation. They should purposely search for and try to exploit high profit potential opportunities and achieve business results stressed in the Ford Taurus example discussed, in contrast to an operational mindset where getting the job done is the only priority. Leaders should challenge and anticipate customer needs, make educated decisions and ‘capture the benefits of uncertainty’
1-Jeffrey Covin and Dennis Slevin, Strategic Entrepreneurial: Creating a New Mindset, 2002.
2-Aaron Shenhar, Strategic Project Leadership. Toward a strategic approach to project management, 2004.
3-Anastasia Belyh, Leadership Guide: Definition, Qualities, Pros & Cons, Examples, 2020
4-Jeffrey Covin and Dennis Slevin, Strategic Entrepreneurial: Creating a New Mindset, 2002.
5-Aaron Shenhar, Strategic Project Leadership. Toward a strategic approach to project management, 2004.
6-Jeffrey Covin and Dennis Slevin, Strategic Entrepreneurial: Creating a New Mindset, 2002.
7-Jeffrey Covin and Dennis Slevin, Strategic Entrepreneurial: Creating a New Mindset, 2002.