In our first part of our 5-post blog series on unwrapping strategy, we are reviewing what the leadership’s role is in driving strategy. Having leadership is one of the most important things to have when setting a successful strategy. When thinking about what sets leaders apart in the context of leadership and strategy is that we as leaders, and using the royal “we” in that regard, have the responsibility and the onus to establish and lead towards some sort of future place, somewhere that we aren’t today.
Something that sets really good leaders apart is that idea that we’re focusing on the future. We are clear about what that future state looks like and we’re clearly communicating what that is. It is essential to communicate why it’s important to the people in our organization and what their role and state in that future is. Being clear about what that future state is can be sometimes easy, sometimes hard, but something that leaders need to constantly work on.
Adding to that, the idea of not only knowing where we’re going, but clearly communicating and engaging an organization around that direction, is often times easier said than done. It is ultimately a huge responsibility that we have as leaders. Often times we can’t do that if we’re not clear about how we think about the future, and also how we talk about the future. It’s a problem we have seen with some of the organizations and leaders we have worked with. The issue is that leaders feel that they don’t answer the “future” question as robustly as they should, but having confidence in that and leading the organization towards that goal is what makes a good leader great.
The intersection of leadership and strategy is connecting the future to the strategy and communicating that future continuously throughout the organization. As leaders, our role is to cast this whole conversation around strategy, planning and execution and clarifying the path to the organization’s vision.