Strategy August 2013

How to be a strategic leader in business

Posted on August 22nd, 2013

Categories: Business, Management

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Strategy is one of those buzz words that crops up in business articles again and again. But what does strategy really mean and what does a commitment to strategic leadership actually entail?

The strategy of a business refers to its big plan and its vision. Aside from the day to day operational activities of running a business, it is imperative that a company is led by somebody who can remove themselves from all of this detail, and who can focus on an over-arching strategy. This does not mean that the daily operations of a business are neglected, but that while some staff members are tasked with these activities, the business leader needs to have his or her job purely focused on “the bigger picture”. This will put you in a good position to seize opportunities and quickly pick up any warning signs.

The importance of strategy is clear, but what is a strategic leader actually meant to do in their job? By heeding the following advice, any leader can ensure that strategy is right at the heart of their approach to business leadership:

1. Have a wide vision
It is easy to get sidetracked by day to day emails and all of the small concerns of running a business. But if you are not careful, spending too much time on these small concerns can distract you from your business strategy, leaving your company vulnerable to rivals who have implemented a strategic approach more successfully. Keep your mind open to the bigger business picture and look to build a wide external network, as this will help your business to succeed beyond its current boundaries.

2. Gain competitive advantage
Competitive advantage is the difference between being a market leader and just another company that follows the herd. By stepping back and questioning every operation within your business, you will be employing a strategic approach that provides you with an advantage over your competitors. By interrogating every part of your business, you will be able to find the root causes of any business problems, and then find solutions to remedy those problems.

3. Make clear, informed decisions
A strategic approach is a logical approach in which all decisions need to be made from an informed perspective. Ensure you gather information from many sources, and analyse that information before you commit to any business changing decisions. But do not gather information for its own sake – make sure that this leads to better processes within your business. Click here to find out how earning an MBA will better help with gathering, analyzing and implementing information when it comes to business changing decisions.

4. Reach agreement
Every business has divergent viewpoints – from employees, from board members, from stakeholders, and even from consumers. But a great leader will engage key stakeholders and build trust to narrow that gap of divergent viewpoints. It is important to understand what drives other people’s agendas to gain a holistic view of the business, and it is equally important to tackle those viewpoints even when it might be uncomfortable to do so.

5. Encourage open feedback
Successful strategic leadership rests on comprehending the opinions of various company stakeholders – and this means encouraging open feedback from all corners of a business. Ensure that processes are in place to receive regular feedback and use this information to respond to any business problems. This will only lead to more efficiency in your business operations.

It is important to carve out a strategic direction for your company through successful strategic leadership in order to ensure that your company has direction. Make sure your company has what it takes to focus on being strategic.

We can help your business develop the right strategy and ensure you follow its direction so you make a positive contribution to your bottom line. Get in touch today to find out how Ascend Twentyone can help your business.

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