Summarizing strategic leadership
Experienced lecturers in business administration – without excluding others – are proficient in both unfolding the full content of their subject and recapitulating it succinctly. Also, many blog writers and the like appear to be masters in outlining fields of knowledge in an insightful way while enticing their audience into wanting to know more.
An interesting website article written by Dr Paul J.H. Schoemaker on strategic thinkers (INC.com) exemplifies the art of summarizing. He writes that every leader’s temptation is to deal with what’s directly in front, because it always seems more urgent and concrete. However, if you do that - the writer poses - you put your company at risk. Companies need leaders who can see beyond their nose; but, can you recognize such strategic leaders? According to the writer, adaptive strategic leaders – the kind who thrive in today’s uncertain world – do six things well. They anticipate, think critically, interpret, decide, align and learn.
This intriguing summary, however, makes one wonder what this is all about. Every citizen does that in order to make it to the next day and beyond. Obviously, it is the special business environment that makes the difference. Experience and gut feeling may be important, but when you have to lead and manage a large organization, using your brains and acting upon it seems to be indispensible. Organizations do not have much that keep them going on their own accord.
The intellectual side of management is of course what business education is good at. There are more dimensions (which the school pays attention to), but using your brains based on good evidence-based concepts must not be forgotten or played down. That’s for sure.
Dr Teun Wolters