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Becoming A Strategic Leader

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September 17th, 2010

- Updated on

April 19, 2016 - 12:03pm

"This individual is a great performer …..
but he/she is not strategic enough.”

Lacking strategic capability is a common reason that leaders are overlooked for promotion. It was the scenario that AJO Executive Coach, Betsy Reeder introduced at an AJO's Coaches Forum. Highlighting this organizational dilemma and referencing the Center for Creative Leadership’s (CCL) book, “Becoming a Strategic Leader,” Betsy facilitated a lively discussion on what it means to be a strategic leader.

According to the authors, Richard L. Hughes and Katherine Colarelli Beatty, strategic leadership occurs “…when individuals and teams think, act and influence others in ways that promote the enduring success of the organization.”

The authors note that effective strategic leadership requires different skills and perspectives than those required by operational leadership. Strategic leadership is different in the following three respects:

  1. It's broad in scope
  2. It's future focused
  3. It's change oriented

Reviewing the five elements of CCL’s process overview (outlined in this original CCL Strategic Leadership: An Organizational Imperative White Paper), AJO's executive coaches offered ideas and insights for an AJO coaching guide on strategic leadership, to be used by executive coaches in their work with leaders.

Wondering how you and/or your team can become more strategic? Review the recommended resources below to get started. Ask us for a copy of our Coaching Guide.


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