A. Describe strategic leadership in detail, the traits of strategic leadership, how they differ from strategic management, and discuss the importance of strategic leadership for the competitive success of a firm.
Strategic leadership is difficult to describe as a concept; however it is easy to distinguish when it is in action. Leaders pay close attention to small details to ensure that the big picture may one day become realized. Strategic leadership is being able to develop competencies for dealing with extensive, new challenges of leading in the industry that they are in. In an attempt to define strategic leadership I begin to define the word strategy. Strategy is a plan of action for accomplishing a goal. Strategic would be those goals that wish to be obtained through long range planning. The advantages will come to leaders that have the highest conceptually ability to make decisions. They must have values, ethics, and standards. There are no short cuts to acquire their goals. As mentioned in class strategic leaders have a "dream." That dream is very blurry causing it to be uncertain, ambiguous, and deficient in data. Strategic leaders make decisions that encompass the many different cultures, personalities and desires of their organization, suppliers, and partnerships. They must make reasonable decisions that are based on insufficient information. To not do so would result in serious implications. The strategic leadership is the thinking and decision required to develop and affect the plan positively. Strategic leaders need skills to be successful. These leaders are made, not born. Their experiences in life bring them wisdom and vision to create and execute plans based on broken information. Globalization has also caused strategic leaders to investigate a countries history, culture, religion, and politics. The internal and external environment has potential strengths/threats that the company needs to be aware of. Strategic management has several tasks. They must define their business, by stating a mission and forming a strategic vision. They must set measurable objectives and create a strategy to achieve their objectives. Then they must implement and evaluate the performance of any new developments. They provide a clear view of what the firm is trying to accomplish for its customers. This avoids confusion as to which direction a firm should go towards because there is only one path given. They clearly see that there is need for changes. They must be committed to the idea of changing the business planning process and has a course of action that has integrity with everyone involved. Strategic managers make sure that final plans are realistic and reflect resources and capabilities. Strategic planning is a strategic management tool. That tool is used to help organization do a better job. It is a way to see that all members of the company are trying to obtain the same goals. A good strategy is strong enough to overpower rivals and flexible enough to overcome obstacles. There strategies need to constantly evaluate due to changing market decisions, new technology, and changes in consumer's needs and preferences. The key is to understand that people communicating and working together will create the future of an organization's success and not some words written on a piece of paper. They must take into account the external environment, internal organizational capabilities, and their organization's overall purposes. How to compare and contrast strategic leaders from strategic managers can be explained by looking at the differences between what attributes a leader has versus what attributes a manager has. A manager uses all the resources a company has whether it is human capital or money to obtain a company's overall goals in an efficient and effective manner. Leaders use those same resources to get the members of that organization to work together to...
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