What is Strategic Leadership
The best way to challenge old practices, mitigate risks, scale your business, and communicate effectively is to select the right leadership style for your team. If you are looking to improve your leadership style, this is where strategic leadership comes into force.
Strategic leaders can visualise, plan, lead, and capitalize on the available resources in order to execute strategies effectively and successfully. They know how to implement their strategic plans with their managers and employees. A strategic outlook reflects agility, where the leader can see how the current situation connects to the big picture. It allows the leader to think ahead of the competitors, thereby making fast and effective decisions that will positively impact the company. Hence, a solid and creative mindset is pivotal to strategic leadership.
Here are some of the main traits and qualities of effective strategic leaderships.
#1 Practising Strategically And Adaptability
Significantly, strategic leaders must be visionary and strategic thinkers. They must think with the end goals in mind and only focus on the relevant tasks or plans to reach the goals. Moreover, strategic leadership needs to translate the organisation's long-term visions into daily goals. They have the ability to implement action plans to achieve these goals.
#2 Ability To Communicate Effectively
Strategic leaders must have effective communication skills so that the teams understand and align with the company's visions. It is critical to communicate effectively to the teams the directions where the organisations are heading, or else it will be like a ship wandering aimlessly in the vast ocean without a compass.
#3 Creating Efficient Work Systems
Creating efficient work systems for planned initiatives is critical for effective usage of time, money, and other resources. Strategic leaders are capable of developing a goal-setting framework that defines and monitors their objectives, outcomes, and methods of work delivery.
#4 Someone To Rely On
Strategic leaders are somebody on whom you can rely. They pursue their goals with zeal and determination. Moreover, strategic leaders are aware of the impact of their actions and emotion to their teams. They have high emotional intelligence. They think deeply before they act, and they stay focused albeit distractions or during troubled times.
#5 Executing Strategies With Zero-Mistake Tolerance
Strategic leaders are experts at strategy executions. They convert goals into actions, and actions into results. They capitalize on their systems and resources. The teams working for strategic leaders can work independently and autonomously as they understand the directions clearly.
#6 Excellent Management Skills
Strategic leaders lead their teams effectively - they allocate resources effectively, assign responsibilities amicably, and delegate decision-making authorities to their subordinates confidently.
#7 Exercising Their Authorities Wisely
Strategic leaders make sensible use of their authorities. Instead of overwhelming their teammates with spike-loads of tasks, they progressively introduce their ideas or tasks. They solicit consents or approvals for their views rather than impose orders onto the others.
#8 Allowing Teammates Do Their Work Independently
Strategic leaders do not micro-manage their employees' work. Instead, they trust and let them do their work independently.
#9 Maintaining A Broader Outlook
Strategic leaders may not necessarily be experts in their fields, but they are knowledgeable and up to date on the bigger pictures. They are well-informed about the organisations and the industries through various formal and informal sources of information.
#10 Expecting Loyalty And Commitment
Strategic leaders are meticulous when it comes to commitment at work. Their words and actions demonstrate their dedication to their visions. Likewise, they expect commitments and loyalties from their team members.
#11 Pursuing Constancy And Reliability
With persistency, strategic leaders articulate the visions until they become embedded in the culture of the organisations. Employees at all levels understand the visions and align themselves to the directions.
#12 Showing Empathy
Strategic leaders attempts to consider their subordinates’ perspectives. They understand the relationship between the team’s emotion and morale, and the team’s performance. Hence, the leaders capitalize on the power of empathy to gain trust and confidence from the team.
#13 Practising Self-awareness And Self-control
Strategic leadership skills help leaders understand their moods and emotions, and their effects on others. They are aware of their actions leading to favourable or adverse consequences. Therefore, they manage distractions and act carefully.
#14 Demonstrating Great Interpersonal Skills
Strategic leaders are likeable, approachable, and friendly. Practical interpersonal skills of the strategic leaders enhance teamwork within the organisation, which will then improve the companies’ productivities. Exceptional interpersonal skills help them gain more friends, loyal employees, and customers.
#15 Delegating Tasks Effectively
Strategic leaders are effective in delegating tasks. Delegations help prevent leaders from overburdened with technical tasks. Moreover, delegating decision-making authorities to subordinates significantly motivate them.
Strategic leaders already have clear ideas of individual staff's skill sets, strengths, and weaknesses. Hence, they delegate specific tasks to the employees who will likely produce the best possible results. In this way, companies can maximize productivities within the shortest amount of time.
Why Strategic Leaders Stand Out from the Rest
Strategic leaders can create vision, articulate them, and persistently turn them to realisation. Strategic leaders have the ability to solve leadership challenges that require various skills and perspectives. They differ from other leaders – operational leaders - who need continual supervisory guidance.
Operational leaders tend to be good at their functional areas, meet short-term goals, and create stability in order to focus on task executions. On the other hand, strategic leaders oversee multiple aspects of the businesses rather than limit themselves to just one. Moreover, strategic leaders make decisions that set up the companies for the future while meeting immediate demands, thereby bringing significant changes to the organizations.
An effective strategic leader regards the organisation as an interdependent and interconnected entity, so actions and decisions in one part of the organisation can significantly impact the others. Moreover, strategic leadership encompasses various responsibilities where decisions can impact areas other than their own functional areas.
Strategic leadership is forward-thinking as goals and hence actions are developed for an extended period of time. Strategic leaders usually work on a long-term timetable, balancing short-term results and long-term goals.
Strategic leadership emphasizes changes. Senior leaders who aspire to become more strategic need to look beyond the process of strategy formulation. They anticipate issues and trends, devise solutions, develop plans to integrate all efforts and help grow the organisation's leadership capabilities.
With constant changes in work environment and global landscape, strategic leadership becomes eminent. They are more relevant than functional, operational leaderships. Therefore, you can play a significant role in your organisation's success by recognising opportunities to become a strategic leader. This paves the way for your personal career growth and advancement.