What is Strategic Leadership?
There are 3 stages of the role in the leadership competence development, namely:
1. Lead Self
2. Lead People
3. Lead Business.
A leader’s qualifications can be seen on how he runs his leadership role in each leadership stage above.
1. Red Ocean Leader: leader who naturally spends most of his energy & resources to solve recurring operational problems with the same root cause. The red ocean leaders usually can enjoy work on a ‘fire-fighting’ situation.
2. Operational Leader: leader who naturally spends most of his energy & resources to make an all-out effort to reach the current month’s target. The operational leaders usually enjoy take role on “daily control works” through intensive review meetings.
3. Strategic Leader: a leader who naturally spends most of his energy & resources to make breakthroughs in increasing productivity as well as improving work methods for achieving the long-term targets effectively. The strategic leaders usually enjoy work on a group discussion for “creating a breakthrough”.
Contextually, strategic leadership is:
- Leadership competency combined with capability in strategic thinking, and then,
- To use a combination of these competencies for lead his self as well as in lead the people and/or lead the business
- In order to achieve the predetermined targets
- With always on long-term oriented and-
- Through efforts to increase productivity and improve work methods
Why need to have Strategic Leadership Competence?
In general, people see the competency of strategic thinking is only needed when someone runs his role in lead the business. A great leader always uses his strategic thinking competence in run of each his leadership role, not only at the time of lead the business, but also when to lead the people as well as lead his self.
In running his role for lead himself, a leader with less competent in strategic thinking will see all his works are important and urgent, preferring practical training modules for self-development materials, and looking more at what he does than how to do it.
Leader with strong strategic thinking competency will be able to separate important and urgent work in relation to company growth, and then, prioritize his energy to do these priority jobs. Eager to do self-development through benchmarking and learns best practices, and no problem with what to do because of his attention is more passionate towards how the job can be done better.
In running his role to lead people, leader with less competent in strategic thinking will demand that everyone can appear as a superman, can do everything excellently. This leader will be proud to have all his team member busy working from morning till night to make sure all work standards have been executed properly. Leadership style: 80% is leader’s direction, 20% is subordinate creativity that has been approved first.
Leader who have strong strategic thinking competency will be able to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each of his team member, and then, focusing everyone to maximum contributing on the strength areas and at the same time being used to cover the weaknesses of other team member. Leader like this will invite all team members to contribute more in value creation rather than just maintain work standards. His leadership style is 20% direction, 80% is guidance with the subordinate’s flexibility in improvisation.
In running his role to lead the business, leader with less competent in strategic thinking will tend to spend more of their energy to get the deepest possible answer to the ‘why’ question. Action plans are always short-term operational oriented and emphasis on maximizing efficiency. He often stuck in jobs of ‘fire-fighting’ and everyone involved will work with stressful and have no time to do the job of thinking. This leader claims has done his best and request for great performance reward. He will declare that his subordinates do not perform as best as him. The business he leads will experience low growth year after year because there is no breakthrough he made.
In contrast to leader who has strong competence in strategic thinking, this leader is spending more of his energy to make improvement on the work methods. His action plan is always long-term oriented and emphasis on efforts to increase productivity. He anticipates all the possibilities so as to avoid the ‘fire-fighting’ trap. He always sees room for improvement and responds positively to any creative and innovative ideas from all parties.
Such leader will be passionate in sharpening the strategic thinking competence of all his subordinates so that they can contribute more in the creation of creative and innovative solutions. The business he leads will grow above the industry average and often become a role model in business management.
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