When Strategic Leadership Skills Are Required for Success
Just as it takes a different set of skills to transition from an individual contributor to a successful new manager, it takes a different mindset and skillset (what we call Strategic Leadership Skills) to succeed as a strategic leader. While both operational and strategic leadership roles are critical to growing a business, we know from leadership simulation assessment data that they each require different leadership approaches and competencies.
Strategic versus Operational Leadership
In general, operational leaders are charged with defining and executing operational plans to ensure that the day-to-day functions of the organization meet short-term corporate goals and accountabilities. Operational leaders usually focus on relatively short time horizons, tactical issues, and low levels of risk. They are critical to running an efficient team or function.
The role of strategic leaders is different. Strategic leaders have a broader charter. They must see and connect employees to the big picture — not only how functional areas interconnect and impact each other, but also how the overall business strategy needs to evolve to meet future challenges. Strategic leaders need to be masters of looking around corners, leading change, and modeling continuous learning.
Leading Strategically Requires Strategic Leadership Skills
For an organization to keep performing at a high level, you need leaders who can think and act strategically. One way to assess strategic leadership readiness is to see if your leaders can consistently:
The Bottom Line
Are you prepared as a leader to take on the challenge of leading strategically? It takes a mindset that can solve problems, make decisions despite an uncertain future, prioritize the most critical actions, and communicate the big picture so that the workforce is ready and able to drive the plan forward.
To learn more about becoming a strategic leader, download How Strategic Clarity Distinguishes High Performing Leaders – The Elite 6%
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