For any organisation to have a competitive advantage over other players in its industry, it rests with its leadership.
HR Talk with Paul Nyausaru
This makes strategic leadership a key component of every organisation’s leader. What then is strategic leadership? Strategic leadership refers to a manager’s potential to express a strategic vision for the organisation, or a part of the organisation, and to motivate and persuade others to acquire that vision.
It can also be defined as utilising strategy in the management of employees. It is the potential to influence organisational members and to execute organisational change.
Thus, a strategic leader should be able to create an organisational structure, allocate resources and express strategic vision. Therefore strategic leaders work in an ambiguous environment on very difficult issues that influence and are influenced by occasions and organisations external to their own.
What then is the objective of strategic leadership? The main objective of strategic leadership is strategic productivity and the development of an environment in which employees forecast the organisation’s needs in context of their own job.
It encourages the employees in an organisation to follow their own ideas. Therefore strategic leaders make greater use of reward and incentive system for encouraging productive and quality employees to show much better performance for their organisation.
Functional strategic leadership is about inventiveness, perception, and planning to assist an individual in realising his/her objectives and goals.
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The following are some of the traits of an effective strategic leader: Loyalty — Powerful and effective leaders demonstrate their loyalty to their vision by their words and actions. It is therefore critical for a strategic leader to be the role model in this respect in order for the whole team to follow in their footsteps.
Keeping them updated — Efficient and effective leaders keep themselves updated about what is happening within their organisation.
They have various formal and informal sources of information in the organisation. This could be in the form of developing an open-door policy in which staff is welcome to the leader’s office whenever it is possible to do so. Familiarisation tours of the organisation also enable the leader get the feel of the organisation.
Judicious use of power — Strategic leaders make a very wise use of their power. They must play the power game skilfully and try to develop consent for their ideas rather than forcing their ideas upon others. They must push their ideas gradually. A strategic leader therefore has to realise that he/she has a lot to benefit from everyone that makes up the organisation.
Have wider perspective/outlook — Strategic leaders just don’t have skills in their narrow specialty, but they have a little knowledge about a lot of things. Regular study of the environment in which the organisation is operating will assist the leader in leading the organisation in the best direction.
Motivation — Strategic leaders must have a zeal for work that goes beyond money and power and also they should have an inclination to achieve goals with energy and determination.
Compassion — Strategic leaders must understand the views and feelings of their subordinates, and make decisions after considering them. Without the support of subordinates, the leader will not go anyway, so an effective strategic leader value s any progressive input from the subordinates.
Self-control — Strategic leaders must have the potential to control distracting or disturbing moods and desires. It is therefore critical for them to must think before acting.
Self-awareness — Strategic leaders must have the potential to understand their own moods and emotions, as well as their impact on others. Without first of all understanding themselves, it is difficult deal with subordinates in a way that is progressive.
Readiness to delegate and authorise — Effective leaders are proficient at delegation. They are well aware of the fact that delegation will avoid overloading of responsibilities on the leaders. They also recognise the fact that authorising the subordinates to make decisions will motivate them a lot.
Articulacy — Strong leaders are articulate enough to communicate the vision to the organisational members in terms that boost those members.
The vision should therefore be clear to the leader before he/she illuminates it to the other organisational members.