Strategic Leadership Traits, Advantages And Disadvantages

Strategic leaders are known for thinking ahead of the curve. They are always preparing to implement a strategy to meet the vision in the future. 

These leaders have the ability to detect the lacking problem in a workplace and strategically eliminate it or balance it. 

They are dedicated, effective communicators, master strategists, and visionaries and are very well structured to initiate their planning. 

If you are looking forward to learning about strategic leadership style and do not know where to begin, this is just it! 

You better start from the very basics, as learning the characteristics of strategic leadership style. 

Further, you get to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of leadership style, and you can move ahead with this information in all kinds of directions. 

Traits Of Strategic Leadership Style 

Traits Of Strategic Leadership Style 


This has to be one of the strategic leaders’ highly effective and predominant characteristics or traits. 

Their ability to speed-think towards the future from the perspective of today. That means they can assess the credibility and potential of any work concerning its future value. 

They pretty much live in detail and very much know that nothing usually goes as planned. 

Such leaders are exceptionally talented in anticipating problems and threats to the company and planning a counter or solution for it. 


A strategic leader is always hungry for new ideas and exploring innovative solutions. For this, they must be open-minded and welcoming about everything that comes to them. 

Brilliant ideas, inputs, or insights can reach out from anywhere. It lies all around you. But to really find it, you have to be willing to participate and take action. 

Strategic leadership involves investigating what ideas or new information conflicts with your existing beliefs and understanding. 

It is about being open to accepting a new piece of information and introspecting. It doesn’t matter how uncomfortable that would be. 

If not open-minded, leaders won’t be able to gain ample information to brew any strategy in the given situation. 


Setting out to lead a major strategic transformation can be extraneous, including a string of obstacles in your way. 

All this time, the only thing that helps you persevere is your endurance. Strategic leaders rely on their drive and stamina to deal with the changes. 

So even if things become too difficult and painful, they have a strong ground and developed mental and physical strength to continue. 

This development of mental muscles comes through learning and practicing. The idea is to not give up prematurely before meeting the required goals. 

Challenging Status-Quo

Strategic leaders are always keen to challenge the ideas of themselves and everyone around them. 

This means they keep looking to improve and improve how they do things. 

The idea is to analyze themselves and find a scope to improve processes constantly.  

Such leaders thrive on the challenge of changing conventional or traditional methods to make them better. 


Strategic leaders must be willing to hold themselves accountable for their commitments. 

These leaders make expectations very explicit as they understand people are ready to drop the ball the minute it gets hard. 

They even expect people to fail without losing their optimism towards the mission but out of their sheer understanding of people. 

So even with any letdown or mistakes, they still hold themselves accountable t rectify it, whereas they could easily put the blame on others, and rightfully so. 

Such leadership has a different mindset as they don’t scare to fail as the strategy is always the place to accommodate others’ weaknesses. 


Strategic leaders have a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t. They also know that some solutions are temporary and will not hold up. 

Their experience and reiterations of experimentation taught them a fair share of the lack of fail-safe in a plan. 

So they know when they see one! In such cases, more courageous steps are needed to be taken. 

Strategic leaders see through the current success and potential falls. They make decisions about the change, which might seem uncomfortable for everyone. 

They take bold steps and encourage others to innovate, challenge to experiment, and make failure just a part of the journey. 

It is indeed courageous to do things that need to be done now and often put them in controversial stances. 


Another remarkable trait of the strategic leadership style is that their leaders understand the significance of everyone being on the same page. 

They do not just wish for but work to create unity in their objectives still with the framework of freedom and openness. 

Such leaders do not enjoy or appreciate silos or any divisions. They are quick to notice such differences. 

They aim to align everyone and everything to meet the company’s objective. Unifying is essential for them to meet their goals. 


Since strategic leaders are always observational in their approach towards everything, they are immensely insightful to almost every moving part in and out of their business. 

They scan the environment for potential clues and recognize patterns regarding any particular threat or change moving toward the company. 

These leaders are the first to gain information on early warning signs of storms or shifts in the industry. 

They are aware as one could be for their business and ready to make their move under a constantly growing strategy. 

Effective Communication

Strategic leaders are capable of leading humongous teams with dedicated, ambitious visions. 

It is also because they are excellent communicators and persuaders. Their communication is always brief, concise, clear, and purposeful. 

Their conversation always steers towards a direction of pinpointing a conclusion rather than being just recursive and confusing. 

Also, they have a priority to go for ‘one-on-one’ communication with their team members. 

Strategic Coaches 

One of the unique traits of strategic leadership is its ability to coach others toward growth and learning. 

These leaders deeply understand that competencies and capabilities drive the strategy in the right direction, and effectively so. 

They are developers, teachers, and guides who create opportunities for others to learn, experiment, and grow. 

They even create an environment that normalizes mistakes as a part of growing and evolving. 

It is important to understand that strategic coaches differ entirely from usual operational coaches. 

They focus on developing skill sets and behavior, not the procedures, and streamline the work. 


Strategic leaders influence other people to set their own journeys. All the famous strategic leaders that the world knows today are known to be inspirational leaders. 

They motivate other people to sign up and tap into their potential. It is all part of the grand scheme of strategic planning. 

And when people are part of the movement, they do not resist or push back but rather become critical of the adaptation. 

Such leaders are capable of infusing energy and vision into people. They have the capability to sell them new ideas and set a direction for the team to move. 

Advantages Of Strategic Leadership Style

Advantage of Strategic Leadership Style  

Encourage Objective Thinking 

The leadership heads in the company often get caught up in handling the day-to-day operations. 

This mostly happens in large corporations. 

That’s where strategic leaders come in place, as they are being hired to inform the senior administration about the sync between the daily operation and its future potential or scope. 

Strategic leaders are capable of objectively thinking and analyzing the decisions made in the company. 

They can look beyond and aim for the long-term vision of anything present, giving the company a strategic advantage in its vision. 

Creating Framework for Strategic Decisions 

Strategic leaders install a strategic model for every employee to consider before making decisions. 

This allows strategic leaders to strategically optimize the employees’ decision-making skills for its long-term potential. 

So, every decision made in the company is strategic, considering its full-length impact on the company from the beginning to the later. 

Employees must understand that every decision they make must move collectively in one direction. 

It helps companies to leverage their strength and double down on what consists of more potential for the company. 

It also helps in setting up the right objectives more confidently. Not to mention helping employees to mitigate their weaknesses as well. 

Enforces An Objective Assessment 

An objective assessment of all the tasks and operations going on in the company is essential. 

Strategic leaders develop the discipline enabling the senior management to take back their steps from randomly moving from one task to another. 

And they need to objectively assess the potential and long-term requirements of the operations and tasks. 

It allows the company to focus on what’s more important than others considering it for a long-term game. 

It gives them a big picture to see rather than get consumed by every next problem in the organization. 

Helps Creating An Action Plan 

Strategic leaders help create a more intuitive and fail-proof action plan with a set of objectives and tasks for the company. 

These tasks and objectives are very clearly defined and lead the company towards a centric goal of the brand. 

It ensures that no different tasks or objectives are contradictory to one another or the mission statement or branding of the company.

They also help put the system in place that monitors the progress of each of these objectives and tasks. 

Bring More Clarity To Tasks

When one knows a particular task’s future implications and potential, it is certainly more clear to approach it. 

And that’s why strategic leaders help employees to evaluate the weight of particular tasks concerning overall company goals. 

Most of the time, employees do not understand the significance of certain tasks, or there is just too much direction to move. 

Strategic leaders give them a route that leads the company to gain the maximum benefit within the given timeline. 

Providing An Organizational Perspective 

Strategic leaders have the ability to provide an organizational perspective. It means they can examine different components and predict the future. 

Their leadership framework has a vivid understanding of organizational components and how it needs to work together to move in a particular direction. 

Not to mention deciding what that direction must be for a company. 

It helps management understand the weight of every decision, ranging from product to hiring. 

It also gives them insight into how their decision will impact the whole industry and what implications further bounce back to them as well.

They actually prevent the experts in the companies from not being blindsided by their own limitations of the ‘big picture and frame the potential impacts of every decision on the map. 

Disadvantages Of Strategic Leadership 

Disadvantages of Strategic Leadership 

Over-Reliance On Predicting The Future 

Often, the very advantage of anything becomes the disadvantage as well; the same goes with strategic leadership and management as well. 

When the framework always tries to assess the futuristic implication of every policy or guideline drafting, it is something that is not set in stone. 

Clearly, as no one can really predict the future, at the end of the day, all the predictions and implications are merely potential possibilities. 

So, all in all, it becomes good guesswork that never really guarantees the right choices. 

This can either make organizations take a gloomy approach to the future where they think of all the worst scenarios. 

Or they consider it as a rosy pathway and end up hurting their company by avoiding the risk-management strategies. 

Either way, over-reliance on predicting the future is bad for the organization in one way or another.  

Tunnel Vision Of The Strategic Leader

Strategic leaders focus on the current operations and tasks going on in the company and how they will impact the future. 

So, they don’t have much room to look at the company’s current problems. 

They create a ‘tunnel vision’ for themselves where they can’t see what is in front of them but only the problems ahead of them. 

It is possible that these problems can be handled in other ways by the management and don’t concern the strategic leader at all. 

But it does hinder and impact the current situation of the organization. 

Difficulty Due To Flexibility

Strategic leaders can be adaptable, but their framework for the employees to optimize their decisions is certainly not. 

They are, in fact, disruptive in the sense that everyone has to adapt to this more intricate level of making decisions and completing tasks. 

This calls for people to be highly flexible and adapt to the changes in strategic planning. 

So, strategic planning does have adverse effects on the company as it often distracts the people in its implementation rather than making it easier. 

The way of doing it becomes more difficult than actually doing it. 

May Stall Company’s Growth

Strategic leaders impact the organization immensely, especially when it starts to roll out the implementation. 

The personality of the strategic leader carries too much stake for the company as he or she is what decides the very turn the company will take. 

For example, if the leader is more open to risk and has an idealistic approach to the future, they might miss the problems that are currently at risk. 

On the other hand, if they are more conservative and not open to taking risks, they can halt the company’s growth. 

It might just slow down the company’s growth or even make it stagnant. 

And just like the example, many reasons lead to such consequences, so this very nature of extreme results being over-dependent on the leader is a bit too much to bear. 

Key Takeaways

  • Strategic leadership involves setting a long-term vision and direction for the organization.
  • Key traits of strategic leaders include a focus on innovation, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to change.
  • Advantages of the strategic leadership style include improved organizational performance, greater employee engagement, and increased innovation.
  • Disadvantages of the strategic leadership style include a lack of short-term focus and the potential to be too risk-averse.
  • Effective strategic leaders balance long-term vision with short-term goals and clearly and consistently communicate their vision to their team.


What is strategic leadership style?

The strategic leadership style involves setting a long-term vision and direction for the organization and guiding employees toward achieving these goals.

What are the key characteristics of strategic leaders?

Key characteristics of strategic leaders include a focus on innovation, flexibility, and the ability to adapt to change.

They are also able to balance short-term and long-term goals.

What are the advantages of the strategic leadership style?

Advantages of the strategic leadership style include improved organizational performance, greater employee engagement, and increased innovation.

What are the disadvantages of the strategic leadership style?

Disadvantages of the strategic leadership style can include a lack of short-term focus and the potential for being too risk-averse.

How can I develop my strategic leadership skills?

Developing strategic leadership skills requires a combination of experience, training, and mentorship.

Reading books and articles on strategic leadership, attending workshops and conferences, and seeking out feedback from colleagues can also be helpful.

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