Herman A. Mason
Jones International University
The notion of management has been in existence since time immemorial, and so has the concept of strategy, which finds it roots in military parlance. It was the responsibility of the military leader to organize and plan his military engagements in such a way as to achieve the maximum success of his armies. The military leader had to strategize, and make positive or progressive decisions to ensure the success of his armies.
So it is in the area of management where it is the responsibility of the executive management to prepare strategies that will ensure the growth and profitability of their organizations. A strategic leader has to be cognoscente of numerous elements of his business, and not least among them is human relations. Strategic Leadership includes strategic planning, and strategic management, which will all come together to form the organization or the firm.
Management thought as an emerging discipline had its beginnings in the Industrial Revolution, and has gone through many changes to this point. Industrial and business structures have also experienced numerous changes, especially in the way business is conducted, and the expectations of shareholders, managers, and workers. The social person era heightened the importance of the worker within an organization, and also brought to the fore the necessity for more attention to be paid to human relations.
Management thought today has been accepted as a science, and a discipline; however this was not always so, as it was believed that managers, supervisors, or foremen were created from within his particular industry through knowledge obtained. Today management is looked at from two perspectives, namely Academia and Practitioners. The manager with knowledge gained from the books, and the manager who might be formally educated in another discipline, or not but knows the business he is involved in inside-out.
This paper will be looking at the role of a strategic leader, which cannot be separated from the role of both a strategic planner, and manager. Attention will also be paid to role of, and the arguments between academic and practitioner managers. All these elements will be tied together by looking at the concept of Learning Organizations.
The Role of a Strategic Leader
Rowe (2001) defined the strategic leader as a person with the ability to influence others to voluntarily make day-to-day decisions that enhance the long-term viability of the organization, while maintaining its short-term financial stability. Strategic leadership has a responsibility to enhance the wealth creation process of the organization in which he/she finds themselves. The presence of a strategic leader often times will manifest itself in the form of above-average returns. The presence of a strategic leader in an organization will result in wealth creation for the employees (with better wages, and benefits), customers (better pricing and value for their dollar), suppliers (quicker turnover of goods due to greater demand), and shareholders (where stock prices are monitored and makes the difference between success and failure) of entrepreneurial (medium and small businesses) and established organizations. Within many organizations and within the leadership spectrum there are also other leadership types that are present, and the style of leadership present in an organization will determine the success of eventual failure of that entity. There are two other leadership types that are present within organizations and these are;...