Strategic Leadership

A. Describe strategic leadership in detail, the traits of strategic leadership, how they differ from strategic management, and discuss the importance of strategic leadership for the competitive success of a firm. Strategic leadership is difficult to describe as a concept; however it is easy to distinguish when it is in action. Leaders pay close attention to small details to ensure that the big picture may one day become realized. Strategic leadership is being able to develop competencies for dealing with extensive, new challenges of leading in the industry that they are in.

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In an attempt to define strategic dervish I begin to define the word strategy. Strategy is a plan of action for accomplishing a goal. Strategic would be those goals that wish to be obtained through long range planning. The advantages will come to leaders that have the highest conceptually ability to make decisions. They must have values, ethics, and standards. There are no short cuts to acquire their goals. As mentioned in class strategic leaders have a “dream. ” That dream is very blurry causing it to be uncertain, ambiguous, and deficient in data.

Strategic leaders make decisions that encompass the many different cultures, personalities and desires f their organization, suppliers, and partnerships. They must make reasonable decisions that are based on insufficient information. To not do so would result in serious implications. The strategic leadership is the thinking and decision required to develop and affect the plan positively. Strategic leaders need skills to be successful. These leaders are made, not born. Their experiences in life bring them wisdom and vision to create and execute plans based on broken information.

Globalization has also caused strategic leaders to investigate a countries history, culture, religion, and politics. The internal and external environment has potential strengths/threats that the company needs to be aware of. Strategic management has several tasks. They must define their business, by stating a mission and forming a strategic vision. They must set measurable objectives and create a strategy to achieve their objectives. Then they must implement and evaluate the performance of any new developments.

They provide a clear view of what the firm is trying to accomplish for its customers. This avoids confusion as to which direction a firm should go towards because there is only one path given. They clearly see that there is need for changes. They must be committed to the idea of changing the business planning process and has a course of action that has integrity with everyone involved. Strategic managers make sure that final plans are realistic and reflect resources and capabilities. Strategic planning is a strategic management tool.

That tool is used to help organization do a better job. It is a way to see that all members of the company are trying to obtain the same goals. A good strategy is strong enough to overpower rivals and flexible enough to overcome obstacles. There strategies need to constantly evaluate due to changing market decisions, new genealogy, and changes in consumer’s needs and preferences. The key is to understand that people communicating and working together will create the future of an organization’s success and not some words written on a piece of paper.

They must take into account the external environment, internal organizational capabilities, and their organization’s overall purposes. How to compare and contrast strategic leaders from strategic managers can be explained by looking at the differences between what attributes a leader has versus what attributes a manager has. A manager uses all the resources a many has whether it is human capital or money to obtain a company’s overall goals in an efficient and effective manner. Leaders use those same resources to get the members of that organization to work together to advance the interests of the organization.

A manager tries to get things done through the efforts of others while leaders direct and support others in the pursuit of the organizations mission and goals. It seems that a leader has better interpersonal skills that enable them to get others to do what they wish more easily. Both managers and leaders strive to achieve their organizations goals however each tries to accomplish these goals differently. For example a leader gives his followers empowerment which enables them willingly follows and have a personal stake in acquiring those goals.

A manager uses their organizational power to dictate what should be done and when. Their authority expects complete compliance from their subordinates. Managers and leaders scan their external and internal environments for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWAT analysis). Each motivates their subordinates in a different manner. This is the point where leaders and managers get defined. If others internalize the organization’s goals and believe that they can help achieve them through hard work, they have been inspired by leaders.

If they are given orders and expected to comply automatically, they are under the authority of a manager. The importance of strategic management results in good organization conditions that include the devotion of its employees to work hard and have good work ethics. They feel part of the organization’s success when it reaches its expectations. B. Choose a CEO of a prominent firm you believe has exemplified effective strategic leadership and another who has not. Historically narrate and discuss hat each is doing or has done that has positively or adversely affected firm performance.

Steven Jobs (Apple) and William Clayton Ford (Ford) Steven Jobs is the co-founder and CEO of Apple and was the CEO of Paxar until it was taken over by Disney. He is the largest Disney shareholder and a member of Disney’s Board of Directors. He is considered a leading figure in both the computer and entertainment industries. He was a very charismatic leader who had the capabilities to bring his company profitability. It seems that from the beginning Jobs envisioned what it was that the public felt was appealing. He co-founded Apple with Steve Waking. In the late n ass he helped promote personal computers.

In the early sass he saw the potential of the mouse-driven GUI (graphical user interface). In 1985 he was fired from Apple Computer by the Board of Directors over a power struggle. He later founded NeXT, it was a computer platform development company specializing in higher education and business markets. Apple eventually bought out NeXT in 1997 which brought him back to the company. He has severed as CEO ever since. He felt that innovation has no limits. The only limit was your imagination. If you did not think “outside the box” then you are doomed to fail. An industry needs ways to become more efficient and more customers friendly.

He encouraged everyone to use their talents, abilities, and skills in the best way possible and get ahead of others by giving that little extra. He also felt that one should work in an industry that they like. Having FUN doing ones job increases the overall job satisfaction causing them to excel at their job. He promoted that his workers work ethically and be socially responsible. Jobs wanted his employees to embrace their mistakes as learning experiences and not failures. All of these qualities are the attributes of a successful leader. Jobs was quoted saying, “Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes.

It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations. ” (Quotations Book. Wisped ) R Responding to a critic who asked why he thought his overly ambitious development plans could be achieved, Jobs declared “Because I’m the CEO and I think it can be done. ” His unrelenting candid language and spirit are a perfect reflection of the company he ran. The legendary “1 984” Super Bowl commercial set a standard that has still not been surpassed in advertising, and his yearly “rock star” performances or employees and shareholders take on a transformational tone much like a Springiness concert.

While his communication efforts do not meet the rules of simplicity or brevity, Jobs is certainly inspirational, and his language encourages listeners to envision powerful future. (Words that Work by Dry. Frank Lunch, Hyperfine Publishers, 2007, pig 98) In the first ten months after being named interim CEO, Jobs had Apple develop and launch a new Mimic. The Mimic did quite well because it directly addressed some key consumer needs. Apple also created the Pod. These products created a buzz for Apple. (Seduced by Success, Robert J. Herbal, McGraw-Hill, 2007, pig. 312) William Clayton Ford is the great grandson of Henry Ford.

He received a BAA from Princeton University and then began he began to be an active member of his family firm. He eventually was named CEO minion. The real question that should be answered is; was he the CEO because he was a Ford? Anyway, his goal was to rescue Ford from its financial trouble that aroused from the Firestone tire scandal and the popular opinion that his predecessor Jacques Masses was an inefficient manager. Ford took the CEO position after the board ousted Masses, the company had just ousted a $692 million loss for the third quarter, a stunning plunge from $994 million in profit a year earlier.

Battered by costs of the Firestone tire recall 0 most of the tires were on Ford Explorer Subs 0 Ford Motor lost $5. 5 billion in 2001. (http://www. Saturdays. Com/money/autos/2005-02-27-ford-CEO-status_x. HTML) The American automobile industry severed to do business during increases in oil prices and increases in the popularity of Japanese cars. Many of the once loyal consumers of Ford turned their attention to purchase fuel-efficient Toasts, Ionians and Honda. These external threats caused Ford’s market share to be overly damaged. Ford knew the company and had served it for 20 years.

He held many mid-level managerial positions. He held no high ranking positions which gave him little to no experience in the executive direction of the company. He was in a positioned where mostly his name brought him respect. “In the months after William Clay Ford Jar. , great-grandson of Henry Ford, took over as CEO in October 2001 , few people outside the second-largest automaker believed he could succeed. Ford had been chairman of Ford Motor since 1999 and had shared control of the company with then-CEO Jacques Masses since July 2001.

But he was seen as too young, idealistic and inexperienced to handle both jobs. ” (http://www. Saturdays. Com/money/autos/2005-02-27-ford-CEO-status_x. HTML) Ford sought to rally everyone around him. He was the first Ford to run the company in more than 20 years, he not only promoted the Ford brand, he also was part of that brand. Ford recognized that the only course for the company was to return to its roots. “We need to get our focus back on the basics of our business,” Those basics, said Ford, were “building great cars and trucks. (The End of Detroit, Michelin Maynard, Currency/Doubleday Publishers, page 132). Instead of focusing on what the public wanted which were small, fuel efficient cars, Ford introduced, in early 2001, the Ford Escape, a hybrid SUB. Although he was focused on being environmental friendly, environmentalists were instantly upset. Many activists are most angry that Mr.. Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford, backed an intense lobbying and advertising effort against a Senate proposal to raise fuel economy standards for the first time since the 1 ass’s. My fear is that Bill Ford is showing his true stripes as just another short-sighted auto executive with no interest in the environment, our oil dependence, or the Ruth,” said Daniel F. Becker, who monitors global warming and energy issues for the Sierra Club. (http://www. Mindfully. Org/Air/William-Clay-Ford-Grammar. HTML) Ford was hit hard by the fall in sales of their pick-up trucks and Subs, the price of gas forced consumers away from those gas hungry vehicles.

Ford proceeded to cut 22,000 people from the payroll, slashed $3 billion in costs, closed five plants in the United States, and cut back Ford’s operations in Europe. As he had to lay off workers, sell off businesses, and close plants, he appealed to the company brand and family reputation to help soften the pain. Ford has already taken mom steps to shrink its work force. In mid-2005, it began eliminating white- collar jobs through layoffs, buyouts and leaving vacancies unfilled. By the end of the first quarter of 2006, the company said, it will have shed nearly 7,000, or about 20 percent, of its white-collar jobs. Http://lesser. Com/Forums/shattered Ford is a leader that tried to be surrounded by experienced executives, This is normal for most leaders that wish to have support to achieve organizational goals, however, in Ford’s case, I believe he surrounds himself with these experienced executives due to the fact that he is very inexperienced to Andre most issues on his own. He lacked an inner vision that was essential to be a building block of Ford’s turnaround in its industry. Ford has stated, “When became CEO, we were in a very difficult situation. Was excited and eager to get started and very aware of what was at stake.

We have an incredible heritage to uphold, and the lives of millions of people around the world are impacted by what we do, so there is a great sense of responsibility, and a number of us in key leadership positions, including me, were new to our jobs. (“In those first six months,” he told Fortune in June, “my head was spinning. I almost wasn’t sure where to begin. It was panic stations every day. “) I wanted experienced, proven senior executives on my leadership team, and that included Nick Schlep, Carl Richards, Jim Patella and Allan Gilmore.

Since they were all roughly the same age, I knew that we’d need to have the next generation in place for a smooth transition when the time came, so earlier this year we moved people such as Greg Smith, Mark Fids, Mark Schulz and Lewis Booth into new leadership roles. They are all experienced leaders and work well together as a team. That group dynamic is very important to me. Http://ventricles. Com/p/articles/mi_mamma/is_11 _ 184/AI_n7180190/ pig_4) A strong management team is vital for an organization’s success. However, Ford more relied on that group then led them.

A leader who is not qualified for their position will inevitably bring adverse affects to their organization. With best intention in mind, Ford should remain a spokesperson but leave the duty of CEO to someone more experienced. He empowered his employees, as did Steven Jobs, however offered little directions as to the path that should be followed. How was he to be believed in if he was so incapable of making firm sections on his own? He lacks the skills needed to be an effective leader. Perhaps this is the reason why he chose to step down as CEO and name Alan Manually, from Boeing, in 2006. L think Bill Ford was under some pressure to bring in additional leadership,” Tim Shrieked at Solaris Asset Management, an investment firm, told Reuters. “He remains as executive chairman, still very much in control, but I think this step to bring in new management from outside the company is a smart, mature action to move the company on to the next step. ” (http://money. CNN. Com/2006/09/05/news/companies/ford/ index. Tm) “That’s why I’m very pleased to announce that Alan Manually, who turned around the Commercial Airplanes division of The Boeing Company, will become our president and CEO, effective immediately.

Alan has deep experience in customer satisfaction, manufacturing, supplier relations and labor relations, all of which have applications to the challenges of Ford. He also has the personality and team-building skills that will help guide our Company in the right direction. ” (http://www. Lifelessness. Com/ford-CEO-bill-ford-resigns. HTML). I believe it was not only a great idea to place an individual with a lot of experience n the CEO position, but it was also a great idea for Bill Ford to step down as the acting CEO. The family’s fortune has dropped by $581 million in just over five years, according to Fortune magazine. Since Bill Ford took the reins of the empire in 2001 , the stock has plunged 40%, eliminating more than $10. 3 billion in the company’s market capitalization. ” (http://articles. Incremental. Ms. Com/ Investing/Dispatch,woreTroubleForTheBigThree. Gasps/2/2007) Hopefully Manually proves himself as a successful leader of the Ford’s organization.