Strategic Leadership Style: Characteristics, 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, visionaries, and very well structured to initiate their plannings. 

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

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

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

Traits Of Strategic Leadership Style 

Traits Of Strategic Leadership Style 

Forward-Thinking 

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

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

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

Such leaders are exceptionally talented to anticipate problems and threats to the company and plan a counter or solution for it. 

Open-Minded 

A strategic leader is always being hungry for new ideas and exploring innovative potential solutions. For this, they need to be open-minded, 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. 

Being strategic in your leadership is you investigate what ideas or new information conflict with your existing beliefs and understanding. 

It is about being open to accepting a new piece of information and introspect. 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. 

Endurance 

When you set out to lead a major strategic transformation, it can be extremely 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 even painful, they have a strong ground along with developed mental and physical strength to continue. 

This development of mental muscle 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 get better and improve the way they do things. 

The idea is to constantly analyze themselves and finding scope to aim for better processes.  

Such leaders thrive on the challenge to change the conventional or traditional methods to make it better. 

Accountable 

Strategic leadership must be willing to hold themselves accountable for the commitments they make. 

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 kind of 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 other’s weaknesses. 

Courageous 

Strategic leaders have a great understanding of what works and what doesn’t. They also know that some solutions are just temporary and not going to 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 take 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 needed to be done now, and often put them on controversial stances. 

Unity

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

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

Such leaders do not enjoy or appreciate silos or any kind of divisions. In fact, they are quick to notice such differences. 

Their focus is to align everyone and everything to meet the objective of the company. Unifying is essential for them to meet their goals. 

Insightful 

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

They scan the environment for potential clues and recognizing patterns regarding any particular threat or change moving towards 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 most unique traits of strategic leadership is its ability to coach others towards growth and learning. 

These leaders have deep understanding that competencies and capabilities are what drives 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 the mistakes as a part of growing and evolving. 

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

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

Inspiring 

Strategic leaders influence other people to set their own journey. 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 rather become critical for 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 the 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 the future potential or scope of it. 

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

They are capable of looking beyond and aiming for the long-term vision of anything present giving the company a strategic advantage to their vision. 

Creating Framework for Strategic Decisions 

Strategic leaders install a strategic model for every employee to consider before they make any decisions. 

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

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

Employees need to understand that every decision they make needs to collectively move 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 step from randomly moving towards one task to another. 

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

It gives the company the opportunity 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 at the organization. 

Helps Creating An Action Plan 

Strategic leaders help in creating 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 leading the company towards a centric goal of the brand. 

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

The also help putting the system in the place that monitors the progress on each of these objectives and tasks. 

Bring More Clarity To Tasks

When one knows the future implications and potential of a particular task, there is certainly more clarity to approach it. 

And that’s why strategic leaders help employees to evaluate the weight of particular tasks to respect of 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 where it leads the company to gain maximum benefit at 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 framework of leadership 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 to understand the weight of every decision they make 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 to not be blindsided by their own limitations of the ‘big picture and frame potential impacts of every decision on the map. 

Disadvantages Of Strategic Leadership 

Disadvantages of Strategic Leadership 

Over Reliance On Predicting The Future 

Oftentimes, 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 what are the right choices to make. 

This can either make organizations take a gloomy approach to the future where they just 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 it will impact the future. 

So, they don’t have much room to look at the currently existing problems of the company. 

They create a ‘tunnel vision’ for themselves where they can’t see what 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 the decisions is certainly not. 

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

This calls for people to be highly flexible and adapt to the changes of 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 have an immense impact on the organization, especially when it starts to roll out the implementation. 

The personality of the strategic leaders carries too much stake for the company as he or her 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 of a conservative and not open to taking risks, they are very much able to just halt the company’s growth. 

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

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

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