Why strategy and leadership are partners

On paper at least, its straightforward. Setting a strategy infers a capacity, or at least a desire to, influence the direction of a group.

And that word “influence” infers leadership.

So, what is leadership? My favourite quote, from John Haggai, is:

“Leadership is the discipline of deliberately exerting special influence within a group to move it toward goals of beneficial permanance that fulfill the group’s real needs.”

That leadership is all about influence. About deliberately exerting that influence.

That the aim of leadership is about outcomes. Those outcomes should be what the group’s real needs are.

And leadership is about legacy. Its about outcomes of permanence. Goals of beneficial permanence.

Thus, the arena of strategic planning is intertwined with the arena of leadership.

Now, we can get caught up in the types of leaders (autocratic, bureaucratic, charismatic, etc). And yes, we can start discussing the types of strategy (design, planning, positioning, emergent, and so on). We can even debate the types of intelligences that are best for leaders (analytical, cognitive, social, et al).

But when discussion and thinking turn to strategy. Part of that communication and reflection must include a recognition that at some point you will turn to an aspect of leadership.

 
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