What is your organisations leadership strategy ?


by George Ambler on Sunday, May 16, 201

I recently stumbled across an interesting article by William Pasmore in Forbes titled “You Need A Leadership Strategy Now” which really got me thinking, especially his statement regarding change…

“Change is tough and always has been. Many executives aren’t good at leading change because they don’t understand the importance of making critical changes in how their companies are led, not just in how they operate.”

Leading in an environment that is characterised by constrained resources, an uncertain and unpredictable economic environment and where competition is constantly increasing, is extremely challenging as there is no clear direction, not clear answers and the risk of failure is high. In these times, when decision making is difficult and change has become the order of the day, having the right leadership team in place is of utmost importance. This is why having a robust leadership strategy is key.

You many be asking yourself, what exactly is a leadership strategy and how will is help in times likes these? William Pasmore describes a leadership strategy as follows..

“A leadership strategy makes explicit how many leaders you need, what kind, where, with what skills, and behaving in what fashion individually and collectively to achieve the total success you seek.”

According to William, developing your organisations leadership strategy require that you answer the following four questions:

1.What are the drivers of our business?
2.What kind of leadership do we need?
3.How am I myself leading?
4.Who are our leaders?

Taking the step to think through the implications of your organisation’s strategy on the kind and style of leadership you need is critical. However, as noted by William, in practice it’s rarely done! Take for example a change in an organisation’s structure, we change the organisation’s structure to align more closely to strategy. Over time we find that the change has made little to no difference, people are still behaving as they have always done and we’re no close to achieving our strategy. This is because we too quickly focus on changing how we operate, rather than focusing on changing how we lead! Instead of focusing only on changing how we operate, we also need to take time to think about how we are going to change the way we lead, so that people will behave differently, so that we achieve our strategy.

When planning to adopt a new strategy think through the four questions described previously. As yourself:

■What style of leadership will be required to support our new strategy?
■How would we need to lead differently?
■Do we have the right leaders in place that can lead in this way?
■If not what are we going to do about it?