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Leadership Styles – Strategic Leadership

CMS Vocational Training Hadyn Luke posted this on Friday 27th of August 2021 Hadyn Luke 27/08/2021


Leadership Styles – Strategic Leadership

the best Strategic Leadership operate?

British academic John Adair is one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership and the author of 40+ books on the subject, including Strategic Leadership, How to Think and Plan Strategically and Provide Direction.

What is Strategic Leadership?

John Adair explains that the word “strategy” comes from Greek and means to lead a large body of people. It was particularly used in military situations; the famous general Xenophon wrote several books read later by military leaders such as Alexander the Great, Caesar and Cicero.

What are the three key aims in Strategic Leadership?

These are:

  1. Achieving goals
  2. Building and maintaining a team
  3. Developing and motivating individual team members

These three aims overlap – you need all three to lead successfully.

What are the three levels of Strategic Leadership?

These are:

  1. Team leadership – leading small groups of people, often on specific tasks
  2. Operational leadership – leading a larger part of the business, usually with several team leaders reporting back to you
  3. Strategic leadership – the overall strategy for leading an organisation

What should a strategic leader consider?

John Adair points out that leaders today often seem to view their role as creators of strategic plans, rather than viewing strategic leadership in its wider sense of leading their people. He says that they should consider what their role is, how important it is to have strong leaders at all levels of an organisation, not just at the top, and how all levels of leadership in an organisation need to work together to achieve success.

What are the seven key functions of a strategic leader?

John Adair set these out in his book as:

  1. Giving direction – this is led by purpose, values and vision
  • Strategic thinking and planning – the specific direction of an organisation, including short-term and long-term plans based on the capabilities of the team and the actualities of the business environment
  • Making it happen – having systems in place and following up with progress checks – evaluations and reviews – to ensure that strategies are carried out, rather than leaving it all to managers and team leaders
  • Relating parts to the whole – getting the balance right between what needs to be done by the whole organisation and what can be delegated  
  • Building partnerships – this is essential but can be challenging, especially when establishing relationships with people from different backgrounds and experiences, so time should be spent on building trust, establishing common tasks and finding how to work together
  • Releasing the corporate spirit – John Adair links this to the thinking of the Islamic scholar Ibn Khaldun, who introduced the concept of asabiya, or group spirit – the idea that a group of people can be more than the sum of their parts and that a good leader will draw out the huge resources already present in their team to make it productive
  • Developing today’s and tomorrow’s leaders – this goes beyond leading by example and requires leaders to look ahead, to have a strategy for the future and to select and develop future leaders for the organisation

What about the next generation of leaders?

John Adair points out that there are some universal expectations of what makes a good leader. However, young people network in a different way from those at the top of organisations today and have higher expectations of their leaders, which established leaders should take into account in order to engage with the next generation.

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