Strategic Leadership Practice
1. The Relationship between Strategic Management and Leadership 1.1 Analyse the Concept of Managers as Effective Leaders
To understand the relationship between strategic management and strategic leadership, it’s useful to define the terms management and leadership. These terms are used interchangeably and often with very little attention paid to the roles implied by them. Roles in management hierarchy are ‘Team Leader’ or ‘Supervisory’ positions and these positions are followed by ‘Management’, ‘Senior Management’, ‘Director’ or ‘Chief Executive’ positions. All of the above roles could be described as leadership roles. It would be fair to say that the higher up the management hierarchy, the greater the necessity to exercise leadership skills, and the lesser the requirement to exercise management skills. Within this organisation for example the Chief Executive is more involved with strategic tasks, setting priorities, forward planning, writing and bidding for tenders etc. whereas my own role as Operational Manager is less involved in these kinds of tasks and more involved in the day to day running and planning of our work. The further away from the operating framework that you are, the less effective you are likely to be as a manager and the more effective you can be as a leader. This is reflected within the organisation in the position held by myself and that of the Chief Executive. I have a greater impact on the day to day running and delivery of the team as an Operational Manager and the Chief Executive plays a far greater role in the leadership of the organisation. A management role involves organising, planning, coordinating, controlling, reviewing, coaching, delegating, liaising, motivating and leading. Fayol describes these functions as the mechanics and dynamics of management, crucial to which is communication. Through creativity and through applying expertise and decisive action managers through their team will get things done. They set goals and ensure that things operate with order and consistency. They focus on measuring and monitoring, and planning for the short-term future, particularly in relation to operational requirements. Team Leaders, Supervisors, Managers lead this process. They utilise leadership skills within their operational remit.
1.2 Analyse the Concept of Leaders as Effective Managers
Leadership provides vision and direction within an organisation and motivates those that it leads. A leader will focus on less tangible elements of the organisation and its functioning; its vision and strategy; changes and improvement, and long term organisational requirements particularly those requirements that relate to its market positioning. For an organisation to be labelled as such, it must have a leader or leaders. Equally for an organisations effective function to be consistent, time and again, to offer a quality product and service to its customer, it needs managers. A successful organisation needs good leaders and good managers. Dixon (1993) states:
‘Leadership is the ability to influence the attitudes and behaviours of others. Management is the formal process of decision and command’
Leaders emerge in all groups of people and particularly those groups that are set on a purpose of achieving a task. Colenso (1997) summarised the differences between managers and leaders in his Leader-manager balance as follows; leadership addresses ‘why’ whereas management addresses ‘how’, Leadership is about inspiration whereas management is about clarification. Leaders are service focused whereas managers are profit focused. Leaders focus on strategy, innovation and fulfilment whereas managers focus on operations, improvement and performance. Leaders look for versatility and alignment whereas managers look for consistency and accountability. Teams at every level, even where no individual has a defined management or leadership role will demonstrate a range...
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