Strategic Leadership and Management Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Strategic Leadership and Management

The link between Strategic Direction and Leadership

Leadership can be described as "a process in which a number of people work together for a common task. It also covers accomplishment and eventually getting the task done."

Chemers M. (1997) has defined the strategic direction (henceforth referred to as strategic management) as the process whereby one can "identify the needs and wants of an organization and achieving that particular goal through joint efforts and collaboration. It might also include the decisions taken by the management and these are the ones which define the long-term strategic plan of an organization. It also includes devising such policies so that organization and its working environment are in line to achieve a common goal."

Lamb, Robert (1984) said that it is an advent fact that leadership and strategic direction both are inevitable in any organization. They help to achieve goals and make the organization outshine in terms of performance, growth and development. Leadership strategies and skills should match the plans and activities of the higher direction so that an organization can flourish in terms of competition and can gain considerable advantage in it.

Association of strategic direction and leadership

Management and leadership are considered to have the same meanings. It is a fact that both of them are strongly interrelated to each other, but both of the words have dissimilar meanings. Both are pivotal for the success of any organization. Leadership is an act of leading the organization towards a goal or achievement that has been defined already. The leader has a complete understanding of visions and is able to support the different units of the organization to achieve these. Efficient leadership plays an important role in executing successful business activity.

Strategic management defines the strategies and ensures that a company is being run optimally. It defines the plans that the management has to follow in order to achieve the maximum possible performance. Tactical decisions save the performance of the organization against any hazard and misadventure. This is a constant process that measures the economic and business ambiance of an organization. The targets and tactics are the topic of uninterrupted change and growth to deal with all the current and the coming challenges of the business.

As leadership and strategic management are interrelated, they cannot perform efficiently without each other. An efficient plan with no leadership to bring it into practice will never be able to achieve its goals and perform effectively. A leadership with no organization might be able to achieve short-term targets but is sure to meet failure. It is likely to be imperfect and can run only daily business operations and fails where the concept of management comes or it is broadened. As there is no long-term planning in place, tactical decisions cannot come to life.

Efficient administration when joined with effective guidance will pave a way for the resources in a way that is most suitable to gain success.

"Tactical leaders and higher management should guide the business in a way that leads the formation of tactical objective and mission. This guidance probably leads everyone in the business to perform at their maximum potential and give the best output (Griffin, 1999)."

Effects of administration and guidance on strategic decisions

The leader does not have the same attributes as their subordinates so they do not fulfill the tasks in an ordinary manner. The style of leading is greatly affected by the group of persons that come in the way of a leader.

Many administration hypotheses have evolved and several different administration styles have been defined. The most discussed styles are that of business leadership and covert leadership.

Business leadership

It is based on the person's need to get the task done and earn for a living. It is surrounded by the factors of power, position and dealing with people intelligently. It depends upon the personal interaction in order to smoothen the relationships. It comes up to the par when leaders choose to work efficiently utilizing the resources available. It makes a system stand that ensures that the purpose is fulfilled, ensures growth in terms of work and make sure that profit is earned in every short point of time.

Covert leadership

It is based on a person's need of sense and is surrounded with goals, morals, and ethical behavior. It focuses on long-term planning without negotiating human standards and ideology. It makes full use of human effectiveness and always remains in search of new aptitude. It transforms the jobs in such a way that they become more significant and tough to perform and puts the internal controls and systems in line with the values and goals of an organization (Covey, 1992).

Some of the styles that are mostly described are the following:

Domineering Leadership: This leadership style includes making decisions by a person who dominates the group in all aspects. Group colleagues or members have no right to raise their voice and present innovative ideas. This results in a highly negative environment that gives birth to high rate of non-attendance and decreased efficiency. This type of management works where the person leading has abilities which are not present in other members or in places where same tasks have to be carried out time and again. It also works where the organization has to meet a short deadline.

Autonomous leadership: It is a just opposite of domineering leadership. Here the leader takes the team with himself and makes them a part of important decisions. However the leader gives the final ruling on any decision. As a result of this type of leadership the employees are contented and with their job and their efficiency increases. The human resources are encouraged to maximize their potential by opting new skills and techniques. This is a long-term planning and process and is used where the goal is to achieve teamwork and excellence.

The Laissez Faire Leadership Style: This style offers an opportunity to the resources to work and take decisions on their own. The leader does not interfere in team matters rather he only keeps an eye on the achievements. This style of leadership can be applied only to the environment where the employees are fully equipped with the necessary knowledge. The only demerit of such leadership is that the resources do not take the job seriously and go down when it comes to goal achievement.

Practical leadership: This type of leadership strongly believes and follows a set of rules, procedures and practices strict adherence according to the code of conduct of the company. The boss makes sure that every process is in line with the company's requirements and is being followed. This type of leadership is required where service excellence and protected work is required. A major demerit is that this type of leading style does not allow any creativity and cannot cope with the rapid changes in the business and industry.

Leadership styles modified to different scenarios - own experience

I work at an international company. Our company provides IT related services to our clients in a way that their IT department is overtaken by us and runs as a subcontract.

Whenever a business is overtaken we are ensured that the new one will provide world class services to our partners from the very first moment so the resources of the other firm do not feel any negativity about our services or the transforming ambiance. I have a chance to take part in a supposed service change process where a new group was made in our organization.

First of all we need to make sure that all the facilities provided to our collaborative company's employees are documented. Secondly we had to make sure that the takeover did not disturb the business of the other company and the effectiveness increases in the form of a long-term relation with the client.

There were certain points worth noting in this regard:


Running services side by side

Taking over the department with the sole focus on excellence.

Service excellent and long-term relationship.

During first and second point the leading styles of domineering and practical control were helpful. We had to control the entire department of another company and where the resources were new they were needed to be accepted and needed to respond to the changing environment positively so that they did not find it difficult in performing their tasks.

During the third point the employees were full of zeal and enthusiasm as they needed to provide their services to a completely new organization. They started making different strategies related to the work and in order to gain the subsequent excellence in different fields. At this point the style of the management changed from domineering to autonomous.

Fourth point was to devise a strategy for long-term relationship with the client. The resources became more professional and they started to care about their company and contribute towards service excellence. This resulted in the emergence of a team that was built on the shoulders of highly…

Sources Used in Document:


Ballmer, S. (2007) Steve Ballmer Speaks Passionately about Microsoft, Leadership ... And Passion; taken from

Bolden, R., Gosling, J., Marturano, A. And Dennison, P (2003) A review of leadership theory and competency frameworks - Edited Version of a Report for Chase Consulting and the Management Standards Centre, Exeter: University of Exeter.

Chemers M. (1997) An integrative theory of leadership. Mahwah, USA: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc., Publishers. Taken from

Covey, S. (1992) Principle Centered Leadership. Fireside/Simon & Schuster: New York.

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