Today, many organizations experience certain economic, financial, and management problems caused by the crisis and social scrutiny. One of the common challenges is ineffective leadership. Jana Klimecki introduces an article about strategic leadership in action. The author focuses on the importance of developing a number of competencies for strategic leaders in order to understand what improvements and interventions can be offered.
Not all leaders are actually aware of what it means to lead people and what qualities to use. Klimecki evaluates the work of 50 leaders from various UK medium-sized organizations. The chosen article is a helpful source of information that can be introduced to leadership consultants and leaders who understand how important some changes in their work.
There are several strong benefits of the article under discussion. Klimecki uses a clear structure, and the reader gets an understanding of what each paragraph of the article is about with ease. Leadership was a serious problem in organizational management all the time. Many successful leaders and the outcomes of their work can be found worldwide. The main point of this article is that modern leaders have lost the right way because of the necessity to deal with all those ranks and charisma or to develop such qualities as certainty and confidence. Klimecki says that these qualities are not good enough for modern leaders.
Some new approaches to leadership have to be offered. Her article is an attempt to understand what makes an effective leader. She gives a definition of strategic leadership and explains that it is not a responsibility that has to be developed by one person alone. Strategic leadership is the identification of a top of a team that can align the whole company behind and get prepared each team member for new tasks and challenges. It is possible to find a lot of educative literature where theorists and writers share their opinions on how many skills and characteristics effective leaders have to develop in their professional lives. Sometimes, even the most experienced people are not ready to deal with such amounts of information and understand what kind of work they should choose.
Klimecki does not find it necessary to use long lists of characteristics that are important for leaders. There are five main abilities any leader has to be aware of, including external awareness, self-awareness, hiring people, delegation, and decision-making. In the article, all abilities are properly described and explained so that the reader can get an idea of how to identify and develop this or that quality to meet the desirable professional goals.
First, any leader has to be externally aware. It means that a strategic leader knows what is happening around at the moment and if it is possible to use available channels and resources. It is not enough to build external relationships. It is more important to demonstrate personal interests in the development of new activities and evaluation of opportunities. Communication with peers, reading the literature, visiting online forums, and getting feedback are the steps that can be taken to promote and strengthen external awareness that is necessary for leaders. The same activities should also be promoted by leaders in their teams.
Second, self-awareness and reflection play an important role in the work of any leader. If some people believe that it is easy to develop such competency as self-awareness, then they make one of the most frequent mistakes in their careers. Leaders should be ready to work hard to become self-aware and reflect properly. Sometimes, it is impossible to observe and explain the mistakes and shortages of other people. When the time to investigate personal weaknesses comes, many leaders are not really ready for this activity. Despite the possibility of getting feedback about personal work and achievements, people neglect a chance to learn more about their skills, believing that they have already succeeded and achieved the best result as soon as they become leaders.
Another important competency of an effective strategic leader identified by Klimecki in her article is delegation. It is hard to achieve positive results for a leader being involved in all aspects of the work in a company. Therefore, a leader has to know how to delegate other team members. For example, it is necessary to learn what people can and cannot do, what their main strengths, and what needs they may have. Then, all duties should be explained. However, it is not the end of the work. When all instructions are given, a leader has to follow the progress, distribute rewards, and give details about punishments. Delegation promotes progress, and the progress of a company is one of the best achievements any leader can be proud of.
Much attention is also paid to such skill as decision-making. Though it is clear that leaders have to be ready to make decisions and give explanations to their teams, some people are not aware of how to make it strategically properly. Leaders should evaluate information, structure their actions, and solve challenges. Some decisions are not easy to make, and leaders have to understand that there are positive and negative decisions in their companies. They have to prepare the team for all types of decisions, support and motivate.
Finally, recruiting and hiring are the skills that a good leader should demonstrate in a team. Before leading people, it is necessary to choose a team. This choice influences the future of the company and determines followers who may continue the business. Regarding this and other qualities of leaders, the improvements in the way of how organizations are led are possible. These steps include coaching with senior leaders, 360o feedback exercise, the analysis of skill gaps, governance reviews, and recruitment support.
Effective leadership is not about one person. It is about a group of people who have to be motivated by the same goals. In her article, Klimecki creates a good guide for current and potential leaders, their counselors, and followers with the intention to educate and support leaders who want to become confident in their skills and abilities.