Example Answers to Questions on being a Strategic Leader

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Actually there is no single definition in particular for the organisational culture as this is a very wide topic and it has being studied from various different perspectives.

Following is one of the definitions on organisational culture:-

A set of understandings or meanings shared by a group of people that are largely tacit among members and are clearly relevant and distinctive to the particular group which are also passed on to the new members. (Louis 1980)

Organisational culture is nothing but the shared beliefs that members of the organization have, which is nothing but how the people of the organisation react when they are given the responsibility of decision making. The people working in an organisation come from different backgrounds and lifestyles and hence their way of approach will be different. But in an organisations culture, everyone has to follow the organisation culture in the same way. One of the most important responsibilities of the strategic leader is to create and maintain the organisational culture which rewards and encourages collective effort of the people working within the organisation.

At the next level of culture are values. They are determined as behaviour on larger extent, but they are directly not observable, as behaviours are. Value is actually something which is measured not necessary to be only with money it may also be in terms of reliability, trust, belief, goodwill and many more. There are two types of values which are basically given more importance and they are Strategic values and Tactical values.

Strategic values are the basically concerned about the long-term direction of the organization where as Tactical values are the normal day to day values that we conduct with ourselves to achieve the end goal.

The impact of organisational culture and values can be in such a way that a company can lose its market share or else it may even have to shut down their business. Because these two aspects are most important for a strategic leader to look upon as whole organisations performance and their approach towards their goal is decided by these two things.

For Example:-

Enron, for instance is one of the example that we can take here as how the wrong organisational culture precipitates business failure. Enron's was very much into achievement oriented, entrepreneurial employees reinforced the competitive "survival-of-the-fittest" culture of the company (Byrne, 2002).

Because of their high performance expectation and competitive behaviour which they have created within the organisation has lead their employees to fight amongst themselves and unethical practices also started taking place in the organisation within Enron managers and employees.

Concluding Thought

Thus according to my level of understanding and thinking strategic leader should be very much clear about its organisational culture and values that he is going to set for the organisation and which in turn help his organisation to attain success and grow enormously. An understanding of culture is a very crucial skill to try for the leaders to achieve the strategic outcomes. Strategic leaders have the advantage of their position as they have the very clear perspective to see the dynamic of the culture, what should remain, and what has to be transformed. And this is the essence of strategic success.

Discuss how organisational specific, legal, regulatory and ethical Requirements impact on strategic leadership demands.

Organisation has to take responsibility of their staff, customers, investors, and the communities in which they work. If organisation has to survive in the market for a long time without any hurdles and obstacles they must take care of the legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements. Organisations should obey the laws of the government whether it might be the state or the central government and should always be well aware of the changes in the rules and regulations.

Legal requirements and its impact on Strategic leadership

The local laws, government permits licenses and trademarks, patents, other legal documents that are to be taken care of. If the leader fails to fulfil any of these formalities then it would be considered as non-compliance. And hence it can lead the company into trouble.

For example: if the cloth manufacturer has the permit to import only four machines and manufactures the goods only on that and if he import's more than that it would be against the law.

Ethical requirements and its impact on strategic leadership

Every employee is to be made clear about the ethics of the company the day he/she joins the company. As ethics means is the doing things in the way they are supposed to be done. The ethical responsibility of the employee of the company is to work for the benefit of the organization and not for his/her personal benefit. They have to honest and dedicated towards their organization. Many organizations now implement the CODE OF ETHICS in their company policies, which they implement during induction and regular training. A code of ethics "is generally a more blanket statement of values and beliefs that defines the organization or group" (Brandl and Maguire).

The strategic leader should follow few of these ethical practices to build the honest reputation and ensure smooth running of the organization-

Investors

Employees

Customer

Competition

Government

Environment

The above mentioned ethical practices cover almost everything about the organization and also the outside of the organization.

For ex- everyone in the organization has to follow the ethical practices and if anyone found not be following would be punished in some or the other way. For instance one of the ethical practices of Sunderland college is there is no racial discrimination. If any student or the employee of the college found discriminating another student on its colour then it would be against the ethics of the college and appropriate actions would be taken against the particular student for committing the particular mistake.

Regulatory requirements and its impact on strategic leadership

Regulatory requirements, as the term itself implies, are requirements which are mandatory for the relevant authorities of our business. Anything which is closely related to our business should be under our preview. The requirements are like the legal fence to our company. The information on this will keep a company away from fines and enforcements attached.

The present basic regulatory frameworks and acts that govern our business operations include Sarbanes oxley act ([SOX], 2002), gramm-leach-bliley act (1999), and health insurance portability and accountability act ([HIPAA], 1996). The specific requirement vary and require careful study.

The basic impact of the regulatory requirements on the business depends largely on how implement them. Ignorance towards this can lead to negative consequences.

Ex- the smoking inside the premises is not allowed as many companies in Hyderabad are SEZ(social economic zone). This is one of the laws of the government in Andhra Pradesh. And the companies follow this. If anyone found to be smoking inside the company premises it is against the laws and regulation of the company. Accordingly there are many regulations made by the company and which varies from one another.

Ex- eating in the classroom is against the regulations of the school or colleges. The students are being provided with the separate cafeteria to have their lunch and hence they should not eat in the classroom.

Becoming a strategic leader: your role in your organization's enduring success

 By Richard L. Hughes, Katherine Colarelli Beatty

Evaluate current and emerging social concerns and expectations impacting on strategic leadership in the organisation.

The key social concerns emerging in corporate social and environmental assessment practices in the current position of the market are as follows-

Managing the socioeconomic risks of investments

Respect for basic human rights, particularly among middle class group of people on which it might effect in a huge way.

Developing awareness of and capacity to manage social issues within corporations.

Determining corporate responsibilities and community development activities.

The strategic leader should be in a position to indentify social risks and opportunities. And he should also assess the social and environmental impacts thoroughly. Recognition of the public involvement should be there in project sustainability.

Ex- stakeholder's involvement in an active participation in companies internal and external affairs, and joint decision making. Organization should be prepared to listen and develop an understanding of the community's concerns as well.

Ex- the food manufacturing company, they use boilers in the factory to manufacture goods and which throws lots of smoke in the air which might be dangerous for the people living around. So, the role of the strategic leader takes place here, he has to make sure the factory is built in a place where there is less of population or no population at all or he should take necessary steps to avoid that dangerous particles spreading in air with taking proper precautions.

(Integrating social concerns into private sector decision making, by Kathryn McPhail, Aidan Davy)

2.1 Evaluate the relationship between strategic management and leadership.

LEADERSHIP- "leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal"

(northhouse, 2010, p.2)

Leadership starts with a dream- a vision of where or what we want to be. Leadership entails deciding strategy.

There are few questions that are to be answered by the leader -

What we want to be?

Where we want to be?

What we are?

When should we be there?

Whom should we target upon?

Why should we be there?

And last but not the least

How should we be there?

Strategic management - the word 'strategy' comes from the Greek, strategos, which originally referred to a general in command of an army. (Gill, 2006, p.177)

Its meaning has evolved and in simple terms it is "the way to achieve success". Like leadership strategy is a process. Strategic management and particularly strategy formulation have been considered to be like doing jigsaw with every piece in place and in only one place.

There is not much of difference between the leadership and strategic management because both are the process of achieving something that they have dreamt about (vision).

The mutual characteristics of leadership and strategic management are:-

Vision

Mission

Ethics

Objectives

Core values and Ideology

2.2 Evaluate leadership styles and their impact on strategic decisions.

There are number of different approaches or styles to leadership management that are based on different assumptions and theories. It can be based on individual's values, beliefs, and preferences, as well as the organisational culture and norms.

Charismatic leadership

Participative leadership

Situational leadership

Transactional leadership

Transformational leadership

The quiet leader

The previous studies on leadership have come to an conclusion that every leader is different from another because their way of doing things vary. The leader has their beliefs and values and they work on the task accordingly. Many leaders are involved in the team's performance and they participate in the team the appreciate frequently to their team members and try to get results while many other leaders give the task to the team and ask them to perform and they supervise and control the team's performance.

2.3 Discuss why leadership styles need to be adapted in different Situations and evaluate the impact on the organisation.

Behavioural theories- this theory focus on how leaders behave. There are different types of leadership style. In 1930's kurt lewin developed a leadership framework based on a leader's decision-making behaviour. Lewin argued that there three major types of leaders -

Autocratic leaders- these types of leaders basically make decisions without consulting their teams and without asking anyone in the organization.

Democratic leaders- these types of leaders are said to be very famous with their employees as they don't neglect the decisions which come from the subordinates in their decision making process. The degree of input may vary from leader to leader.

Laissez-faire leader's these kinds of leaders don't interfere in many of the decision making process. These kinds of leaders allow their team to make the decisions. This happens when the team is highly capable and motivated, and it doesn't need close monitoring or supervision.

TRAIT THEORIES- trait theories argue that leaders share a number of common personality traits and characteristics, and that leadership emerges from these traits. Trait theories help us to identify some qualities that are helpful when leading others and together, these emerge as a generalized leadership style. Traits are the external behaviour that emerges from things going within the leaders mind - and its internal beliefs and process that are important for effective leadership.

CONTINGENCY THEORY- these theories believe that their no particular type of leader it varies from situation to situation. These theories try and evaluate which leadership style is best suitable in one particular circumstance. A popular contingency-based framework is the hersey-blanchard situational leadership theory, which links leadership style with maturity of individual members of the team.

Develop a culture of professionalism, mutual trust, respect and support within the organisation.

PROFESSIONALISM-

The word professional means the person who has obtained the degree and got the job in the professional field. This term also reflects the qualities like the person is highly educated and got the comfortable salary. Professionalism is nothing but the way you act in the working environment. It is the ability to work in a respectful, educated and understanding manner while doing a job.

Professionalism is defined with the help of adjectives or adverbs that describes the nature or actions. For instance a professional might be described as trustworthy, loyal or hardworking. The term professionalism itself has the positive connotations.

According to me in a particular organization the people who are working should be well dressed, should respect everyone who is working with them, should be in a position to gain the loyalty of their customers.

When you are working in an organization that should be professional but should also look like an professional. Because if it is a retail outlet of any product the moment customer walks in makes the contact with the employee and after that they search for the product. As is been said in the past by a great person that 1st impression is the last impression if it not the last but then it would be the most effective impression on the customer. Hence all the employees are asked to greet the customer with the smile as soon as they enter in the store.

Adopting the standards of professional conduct generally helps to improve the business efficiency and company brand value.

MUTUAL TRUST - there should be mutual trust and confidence between the employer and the employee and also between the employee and the employee. The role of the strategic leader is to create the competitive environment in the organization but it should not force the employees to do unethical practices. Thus leader should not be partial and should behave in a neutral way for all the employees. He should act like the parent and should not be partial to any of the employee of its organization. The employee should have faith and trust in all the other employees and their job, for the organization they should be being honest and dedicated.

Evaluate the impact of a strategic leader's clear focus in leading the organisation in the achievement of objectives.

Strategic leader's clear focus helps him in implementing its vision and direction for the growth and success of the organisation. To manage the change it requires the strategic leader to help not only in providing the direction but he is the one who can build ownership within their work groups to implement the changes. With the help of a good strategic leader the organization and the employees working in feel secure and safe. And if the strategic leader is clear about what has to be done to achieve the particular target then his half of the work is done, as it will be much easier for him to make its employees understand and make them implement. Focus is nothing but aiming at your goal clearly. As the time passes your focus should not be blurred it should clear till you reach your desired goal.

Planning without action is fatal and action without planning is futile.

Strategic leader is to plan everything according to the resources (optimum utilization of resources) and then he has to implement that plan.

Ex- Martin Luther king Jr he had his focus clear on getting the blacks the equal right when compared to whites. And he was successful in reaching his goal though he had to sacrifice his life in that process but at the end it was the dream that he had was turned into reality.

We can compare this to the organisation as well for instance today Tesco is the leader in the supermarket segment because the strategy of Tesco were well planned and were almost ahead of every competitor they had in the segment.

Analyse how the strategic leader supports and develops understanding of the organisation's direction.

The directions of the organisations are a part of the directions that a strategic leader has made. There are many things that come under the development of the organisation like: employee behaviour, code of ethics, customer satisfaction, implementation of marketing plan, creating the brand value of the organisation and many more.

What is organization direction?

In simpler terms it is directing the organisation on the way to success.

To achieve all the above mentioned terms the strategic leader has to support and develop a strategy to support these terms and create a process to achieve these goals.

The process in a way the strategic leader works, develops, and supports the organizations direction are strategic leader created the vision, integrating the structure or the purpose, creating the belief in articulation, cultural, imperative and values, and last but not the least is the establishing the concept base for the information systems. One of the responsibilities of the strategic leader is to represent the organisation's relationships with the larger society. There are different types of skills that a strategic leader requires are interpersonal skills, conceptual skills, decision skills, technical skills. With the help of blend of all these skills the strategic leader can lead the organisation.

Discuss how strategic leadership styles are adapted to meet changing needs, and to enable organisational development and commitment.

There are different types of leadership styles namely:

Charismatic leadership

Situational leadership

Transactional leadership

Participative leadership

Transformational leadership

These leadership styles are actually adopted by the strategic leaders according to the situation. There is so much of competition in the current market that the leaders have to be very quick and have to be on their feet.

For instance if there is any problem in the market related to the product or price the strategic leader behaves and adopts the situational leadership style. If there is any problem in the team or between the employees then the participative leadership style comes to play. Their might also be the mixture of two leadership styles. The strategic leader has to be very clear and vibrant. He should be liked by his employees. It is imperative that these strategic leaders become conversant and familiar with the changing needs, in order to balance the people, processes, technology and organisation.

CONCLUSION

Thus to understand the value of strategic leadership in today's life, one should be aware of the practicality both of outside the organisation and within the organisation keeping in mind the necessary of strategic leadership.

Strategic leaders should not implement their strategies haphazardly but, rather they should use very definite techniques in implementation of those strategies.

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