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Being a Strategic Leader Table of Contents
1.1 Impact


Organization’s and

Culture Ethical Concerns



on and on

Strategic Strategic Strategic and Strategic

1.2 Legal,


Requirements Impacting

1.3 Contemporary

Social between Style Adopt

2.1 Relationship

Strategic Their

Management Impact Styles on in

2.2 Leadership

and Different

2.3 Need





3.1 Two

Different Variables

Leadership and Changes and

Strategies: in

An Leadership

3.2 Situational

3.3 Leadership





Being a Strategic Leader
1.1 Impact of Organization’s Culture and Values on Strategic Leadership Strategic management has emerged as one of the most critical and valuable filed necessary for the survival of an organization. Recent studies and anecdotal evidences provide that almost every successful company around the globe is implementing the methods and process of strategic management and leadership. These methods enable the strategic leaders to pool and pull the assets of the organizations into particular directions and achieve the set objectives. In this way, such assets and resources are used and managed effectively and efficiently. Therefore, it can be stated that the tools of the strategic management and leadership today are making key to the benefit and success of a company. Strategic leaders are different from strategic managers in a variety of aspects. Following discussion highlights and provides an insight into differing traits of being a strategic leader. 1.2 Legal, Regulatory and Ethical Requirements and Strategic Leadership Strategic leader have to comply with both the local laws, regulations and other ethical requirements for smooth operation of their companies. For becoming more global they need to understand the sensitive elements of a particular society and culture. Therefore, the importance of ethical behaviors cannot be ignored in the modern world. The leaders need to develop a positive self-regulation of moral behaviors as compelling norm. Further, they also need to develop a ethical atmosphere at firm level just as a matter of routine. 1.3 Contemporary Social Concerns Impacting on Strategic Leadership Strategic leaders always need to take care of a number of societal and cultural parameters in order to achieve their objective and vision of their company. Also, they need to appreciate the environmental complexities in the given society. It is only then they can fully understand and exploit political and social flux of the society. Also, it is seen that corporate social responsibility is becoming an essential

feature of today’s businesses. Hence, strategic leader needs to be aware of social concerns found in the surrounding society (Amato, Henderson, Florence, 2009). 2.1 Relationship between Strategic Management and Leadership Followings models provide a description of leadership and strategic management (Milum, 2011):

Direct Leadership: The first level of strategic leadership is direct

leadership which is actually a first line, face to face management of the company. Basically, it is applied in such companies where subordinate staff level is always in direct or fact to fact contact with leaders almost all the times. Such companies may consist of handful to hundreds of employees. Most of the time, direct leadership provides for a structure of one on one interaction with between leaders and their subordinate staff.

Organizational Leadership: This form of leadership and management

provides for an influence and control over several hundred employees. They may be in a direct or indirect control of them. Strategic leaders usually interact with them through the medium of their immediate staff level managers. This staff also helps the managers to carry on and implement their strategies. The basic level of influence of strategic leaders for this purpose is found in policy making for both short term and long term for the company, instead of face to face contact.

Strategic Leadership: This level of leadership is found in multinational

organizations. Strategic leaders generally control thousands of people through establishing organizational structure, resource allocation, and communicating their strategic visions. Strategic leaders are generally working on high complex and uncertain environments that are crucial to the survival and growth of the company. Leadership writers opine that strategic leadership developed from the ground of scheduling. During the industrial revolution, as setting up labors at main corporations raised and turned into more dignified at business height in the

1970s and early 1980s, center moved from highlighting economic preparation to additional concern – leaning scheduling. It is noticed that as the 1980s developed, there was a more move from centering on plan growth to centering on plan completion, and from central preparation to decentralized preparation. With the changes in importance, Mockler (1997), gives advice that the name “strategic leadership” instead of “strategic management” was utilized much more in trade to explain this developing progression, particularly as better concentration was rewarded to completion kindness. It highlights concern and continuous welfare of groups and it does so due to the following reasons. According to Thompson and Strickland (1996), strategic leadership: 1. 2. 3. Offers assistance to the whole association on the vital tip of “what is Build administrators much attentive to the fast developments, fresh Giving administrators with a basis for estimating opposing financial that, we are trying to act and to get”. occasions, and alarming growths plan needs for savings wealth and fresh employees – a underlying principle that disagrees powerfully for routing funds into plan – helpful, consequences – creating parts. 4. Serving to unite the many plan - connected conclusions by administrator across the group. Making a more practical administration bearing and offsetting bents for choices to be hasty and suspicious. 2.2 Leadership Style and Their Impact on Strategic Decisions Leadership style means a number of things which includes but not limited to managerial style, personal effectiveness, communication skills, efficacy role, team building, and partnership building. Every strategic leader possesses specific leadership style. However, most common traits include a wider perspective of the business of his or her company in such a way that the company could progress in


a particular and clear direction. Strategic leader always looks for a big picture of the company at all levels of its business. 2.3 Need to Adopt Different Leadership Styles in Different Situations Need to Adopt Different Leadership Styles in Different Situations as given under: • Vision and Organization: This is the 1st job. The task declaration clarifies what a corporation look for to do and to turn out to be. It explains a deal and gives an obvious sight of what the corporation is trying to achieve for its clients. On the other side, a planned idea symbolizes administration’s sight of the type of corporation it is trying to make and its intention to watch a specific trade place. By rising and talking a trade assignment and planned idea, administration introduces the labor force with wisdom of reason and a convincing basis for the company’s expectations track. It gives out as a sound basis for assigning capitals. Especially, administration should make sure that the association works together on their planned way declarations. • The Creation of Administrative Goals: This is the 2nd job.

Administrative declarations of trade task and corporation way are interpreted into exact presentation aims, a bit the organization’s progress can be measured by. Objectives which are temporary, average – period or extended –can be set to get better the economic act of the organization, its trade place in the business and makes it more deliberate and attentive in its events (Harrison, 1998). Immediate goals make obvious the instant developments and results organization needs at the same time as lasting goals punctual boss to think what to do now to place the association to do well over the longer period. According to Thompson and Strickland (1996), assembling demanding but attainable goals (high to low level or participative advance) thus assists protector in opposition to satisfaction, flow, and inner perplexity over what to achieve and rank quo managerial task.


There are two kinds of presentation yardsticks from a companywide viewpoint (Thompson and Strickland, 1996): economic goals and planned goals. Economic goals recount to such events as wages increase, arrival on asset, money flow and saver income. These are significant since lacking satisfactory economic presentation an association risks being starved of the capital it wants to produce and flourish. Planned goals on the other side are wanted to timely administrative labors to make stronger a company’s in general trade and spirited place. Models of planned goals comprise: rising quicker than the manufacturing standard; passing main contestants on result value, client check or marketplace share and training technical management. Planned goals give out notice that administration not only mean to bring high-quality economic presentation but also to recover the organization’s spirited power and extended trade forecast. The following are some examples of planned goals: • General Electric: To turn into the biggest cutthroat activity around

the globe by getting a first or second position in the share of the market in each and every industry the corporation is in. • Apple Computer: To propose the top promising PC equipment & to place that equipment in as many people’s hands as doable. • Making a Policy/Plan: It is the 3rd job in strategic leadership. It

needs that the administration properly examines the in-house and outside situation of the company. Equipped with firm examination & a comprehensible idea of the planned apparition and trade mission of the company, administration develops strong approach to accomplish the economic and tactical goals for the company. (Thompson and Strickland, 1996), comments that the policy of an organization is normally a merge of: • • intentional and focused measures as-required feedback to unexpected advances and new cutthroat


Latest situation always come out, whether significant hi-tech progress, competitor’s victorious innovative manufactured goods openings, lately passed government policies and further more. There will be constantly sufficient ambiguity related to the upcoming that managers won’t be able to prepare in advance each and every tactical act and practice their planned approach with no modification. Corporation plans finish up, consequently being a combination of calculated measures (planned approach) and as-required feedback to unexpected circumstances (unplanned approach reactions). As a result, plan is most excellent visualized as a blend of deliberate measures and at the scene of action best suited responses to new emerging business and cutthroat measures. Therefore making a policy is training in private enterprise and external - in planned philosophy. Dangers Encountered by a Company: (Thompson and Strickland, 1996) recommends that when the managers of an organization do not succeed to work out policy, a corporation comes across two threats. • Out Of Date Approach: The first one is out of date approach. The

quicker the trade of an organization is varying, the further dangerous it turns out to be for managers to detect changing circumstances and introducing planned modifications. The policy of going alongside the existing conditions has a tendency to turn out more dangerous than producing alterations. Plans becoming more and more out of contact with marketplace realism craft a corporation a first-class applicant for routine catastrophe. A vision joint with Gibson (1998). • Inside-Out Tactical Philosophy: Inside-out tactical philosophy is

the 2nd threat. Managers having feeble industrial talent are frequently afraid of taking risk and doubtful to get on an innovative planned track till the current policy generates satisfactory outcomes. They give

merely dutiful consideration to marketplace tendency and take note of the clients rarely. Frequently, they allow going fresh external progress as insignificant or learning them to passing away prior to doing any action. As they are at ease with current policy, they center their power plus concentration on in-house crisis resolving, managerial procedures and measures, information and time limits, corporation affairs of state, and the organizational load of their work. As a result, the planned measures they start have a tendency to be inside-out and administrated by conventional advances of the organization, what is satisfactory to a variety of domestic opinionated unions, supposedly at ease, & is not dangerous, together managerially & job wise (Thompson and Strickland, 1996). The more feeble a manager’s industrial impulse and ability, the more a manager’s tendency to connect with inside-out planning, a result that lifts the prospective for compact competitiveness and diluted obligation of the company to entire client contentment. • Plan Realization and Completion: This is the 4th job. It stresses working

out what to do to set the plan in position, carry out it expertly and generate first-class outcomes. The plan – employing job is simply the greatest complex and lengthy element of strategic leadership. It slices across practically each and every one aspects of organization and have to be started from numerous positions within the association. Key features contain as conversed by Thompson and Strickland (1996): • constructing a business that is skillful of functioning the policy effectively • making financial plans that guide capital into those inner actions dangerous to planned achievement • setting up plan – helpful guidelines

• inspiring public in such methods that persuade them to follow the goal aims actively and, if required, altering their responsibilities and

employment actions to suit the implementation in a better manner.





• fastening the incentive configuration to the accomplishment of targeted outcomes • building a corporation society and job environment favorable to victorious plan completion • setting up in-house assist structures that facilitate corporation staff to perform their planned jobs efficiently every day over a long period • establishing the most excellent exercises and plans for constant development • exercising the domestic headship required to compel execution in front and to continue making improvements for carrying out the plan. In view of above, it is seen that strategic leadership is the most dynamic area at organizations. They are master at organizational and direct leadership skills. However, they are very capable of doing more integrated and complex functions, such as creating network of information, fastest processing of information, decision making even if the data and information are incomplete and generate viable support systems. It is therefore seen that strategic leader possess qualities to act on incomplete information in different situations. However, it is to be noted that strategic leaders usually plan for long term and their policy and decisions may take a year or more to be fruitful.
3.1 Two Different Leadership Strategies: A Case of McDonald’s Corporation

Fundamentally, there are four strategies of leadership managements. It is always necessary to find out the key drivers while constructing a sound leadership strategy. These are Cost Leadership Strategy, Focus Strategy and Differentiation Strategy and any combination of afore mentioned strategies.
• Cost Leadership – Strategy: This strategy is useful for the low cost producers in

the industry. Under this strategy, companies sell their products usually at average price in the prevailing industry to earn competitive profits, or they sell their product on below with the purpose to earn their market share instead of

higher degrees of profits. Here, strategic leaders develop cost effective leadership strategies in order to keep targeting broader markets and bigger sales. It must be noted that each leader strategy has its own risks. For instance, the companies may be able to lower their costs, and technologically improve on, thus eliminating the rivals in the market.
• Focus Strategy: Strategic leaders can develop focused strategies by aiming a

specific group of consumers. For instance, economic, cultural, geographical, political, or other age related groups, like children, teen, men and elderly. Within their specific target consumers, strategic leaders employ either differentiation focused, or cost focused strategies. SAGA Holidays, for instance, always try to focus on a limited and particular consumer group i.e. people over 50 years of their age. This turns into brand loyalty and the customers take SAGA Holidays as specialist in its products. Porter states that all generic strategies cannot be mixed, however, combining market segmentation with differentiation strategy is possible and most of the times it works. However, other combinations, for instance, value-added differentiation and reduction of cost is hardly possible. It is therefore, he suggests that a company should keep one in general strategy to sustain its competitive advantage in the long run (Pasmore, W. 2009). In the context of McDonald’s Corporation it is seen that it is found that McDonald has a persistent focus on customer care, speedy service and neatness. Further, McDonald’s Corporation also takes its product value as one of its greatest strengths. Further, as to McDonald’s culture at their outlets, customers know what they are going to expect. On the other hand, it is also seen that McDonald also takes care of customer’s need and changing trends. It is seen that the key secret of McDonald and its marketing strategy to focus on its targeted customers. It chooses its target customer carefully by taking into account demographic, social, cultural, psychological and financial aspects of the customer (Vijayarani, N. 2011).


3.2 Situational Variables and Changes in Leadership Strategies Like any business strategy, leaders also formulate their strategies after taking detailed information and thorough analysis of the prevailing situations keeping in view the ongoing trends. These strategies entail a series of proposals and recommendations in order to fill the gap between the surrounding circumstances and the objectives of future. It is stated that vision is something which could be described as a core of leadership and the most essential component required for assessing strategies. A good leader is always ready to make the necessary changes and alternative plans to achieve its objectives. According to Thompson and Strickland (1996) fresh conditions require remedial modifications. Long-lasting route may require the change, the trade redescription, and idea of company’s upcoming track tapered or widened. As groups’ features unsure, disordered, and intolerant trade surroundings, these subjects summarized above by Thompson and Strickland can only be understood by corporations with sound managerial control. The management that is serious here is transformational management as opposite to transferable management. In transformational management, leaders are expected to accurately interpret the goings on in the environment and take appropriate actions to exploit the opportunities created by uncertainty. These boss are threat takers, love alter, live in front of the transform bend, telling again their production (Gibson, 1998), great talkers, group of actors, skill masters, difficulty resolvers, change creators and overseas representatives. They are not the experts of the rank quo as it is with the transferable boss. This proposes that the task of management (transformational) in the strategic leadership procedure is unifying and thus victory or crash axis on “the handler of the association”. Experiential proofs appear to propose that associations that track the strategic leadership structure with alteration management are high players. Since high - performing associations, they start and guide in their own business, they do not just respond and protect. They start planned assailments to out –bring in and out – plan competitors and sheltered believable spirited benefit,


then use their market border to attain better economic presentation according to Thompson and Strickland (1996). Strategic goals may require elevating or lessening considering history incident and upcoming scenario (Cooper, 2005). Plan may require to be altered due to alter in long-standing track, as latest aims have been made, or as alterations in the atmosphere. It was observed by the researchers that comprehending progress in the surroundings is different than getting the suitable reaction. Consequently, identifying alteration is not enough, reacting in advance to deal with an unexpected difficulty is vital. Here comes the requirement for battle wits and daring headship to cope up with the matters face-to-face and not desire the dares gone. Leadership is course of persuading an association (or grouping inside an association) in its hard work for accomplishing an objective or target. Though, needed in our day’s complicated working atmosphere is revolution headship, the headship that motivates company victory by deeply touching supporters’ viewpoint of what an association supposes to be, plus their morals, for example integrity and honesty. Revolution headship is needed due to the remarkable alteration that numerous associations are facing and the serious significance of Revolution headship in altering or shifting associations effectively. An example of the revolution leader is Lee Iacocca. He had a great success in changing Chrysler Corporation from an organization on the edge of failing into to a victorious company. 3.3 Leadership Strategies and Organizational Structures Today, organization have gone far to depend upon leaders and the strategies developed by them. Strategic leaders act through their subordinates at firm level, so they are required to choose their teams in such a manner that could develop a good, efficient and reliable network of second tiers managers (Milum, 2011). It is important that strategic leader must have a clear vision and policy of the organization. Further, they must keep on checking the environment of firm as well as market for any potential threat and cope with these changes around. Strategic leadership is the key and it is demonstrated as a procedure in the course of which

organizations investigate and study from their inner and outer surroundings, set up planned way, make plans that are proposed to aid get recognized objectives, and carry out those objectives, all in an attempt to suit key directorial stakeholders. Strategic leaderships dissimilar from other parts of organization. It highlights the rising worth of ecological crash on associations and the requirement for strategic management to respond suitably to them. It is noticed that there is a rising sentiment that the more related principle of managerial value is not, as once it was, that of effectiveness, but slightly that of adoptability to adjust in the surroundings. References:
1. Milum.






at: Accessed on 23 October 2011.
2. Vijayarani, N. 2011. McDonald’s Business Analysis. [Online] Available at: Accessed on 23 October 2011.
3. Amato, AD., Henderson, S., Florence, S., 2009. Corporate Social Responsibility

and Sustainable Business: A Guide to Leadership Tasks and Functions. [Online] Available Accessed on 23 October 2011.
4. Pasmore, W. 2011. Developing a Leadership Strategy: A critical ingredient for


Organizational 23 October 2011.




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5. Mockler R. J. 1997. “Strategic Management: The Beginning of a New Era,”

Rethinking Strategic Management; John Wiley & Sons,
6. Thompson Jr. A.A and Strickland J.A. 1996. Strategic Management - Concepts

and Cases, Irwin
7. Gibson R. 1998. Rethinking The Future; Nicholas Brealey Publishing, London 8. Finlay P. 2000. Strategic Management, Prentice Hall

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