Leadership

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Impact of Leadership on Strategy


Udayakumar Nalinasekaren
Dec 21, 2010

Tight Rope WalkA leader 's focus and preferences impact the outcome of strategic initiatives.

Suppose an organization chooses to have a strategic initiative to upgrade their employees. The best of minds are brought to create a framework. The framework talks about fitting people to a magic quadrant of technical competence and business acumen and provides an approach to work the quadrants. It is now the leader's job to execute.

Magic Square

Some leaders prefer loyalty over everything else. In my experience, these are people who have some insecurity or the other. Therefore they will usually prefer loyal people who thrive by the support and enablement of the leadership power and authority. The most common approach of such leaders is to attempt to fit the boxes in the magic quadrant around the people.

There are these other category of leaders who have the ability to think rationally. These are the very logical thinking type who feel very sure and confident of themselves and their decision making ability. Their usual approach is to fit people strictly by objective evaluation to the boxes.

Both the above approaches will have high probability of failure. In the former case business is cut to fit the people. In the later case people are cut to fit the business. An effective leader works to move loyal (to the organization) people to the right competence box in the magic quadrant. This usually requires a lot of listening to and convincing emotional minds, as people do not accept judgements easily unless they are favorable. An effective leader also invests time and energy to coach, mentor and/or counsel people with ambition so they can navigate to the desired quadrant eventually. It is also important for an effective leader to know when to walk away from those who do not want to understand. It is always a tight rope walk between the strategic goal and people focus.


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