Highlighting the importance of strategic skills in leaders today, Kate Beatty recently wrote an article in Forbes on “The Three Strengths of a True Strategic Leader.” The article considers the demands on leaders in today’s business climate, and defines the different characteristics inherent in a “strategic” leader, distinguishing them from operational leaders. These characteristics include acting consistently with the strategic direction of the organisations they are in; managing the tension between daily success and success in the long term; and facilitating other’s strategic actions too, and much more.
Director of Global Portfolio Management at the Centre for Creative Leadership, Beatty acknowledges that leaders throughout organisations face tremendous pressures to make short-term numbers and show immediate wins, but asks “how do we lead in ways that position a business for the future while meeting current demands?”
Strategic thinking, she writes, is grounded in a strong understanding of the complex relationship between the organisation and its environment. It requires taking a broad view, involving the right people, with important information and perspectives, asking probing questions and facilitating conversations.
A number of thought-provoking questions for leaders to consider are posed throughout the article, including:
- In what ways do my own experiences and biases limit my view of [a] situation?
- How can I reframe [a] challenge and see it from different angles?
- How is my response consistent with the overall direction of the organisation?
- What will it look like if I succeed? What is my vision?
Concluding, Beatty writes that strategic leadership is both an organisational and a personal process, and it is one that today's businesses cannot afford to ignore. The job of strategy is not limited to a few top executives. Strategic leaders are needed throughout our organisations if they are to adapt, innovate and succeed well into the future.
Read the full article here.