Why the Visionary/Manager Dichotomy is Stupid:
One recent trend has been to separate leaders into two broad categories: Visionaries (people like Steve Jobs or whoever it’s apparently cool to like or dislike) and Managers (everyone else).
While popular, the imagined dichotomy is not all that useful. In a piece on the Ivey Business Journal back in 2009, W. Glenn Rowe and Mehdi Hossein Nejad argue a case for “Strategic” leadership. You might not hear about it as often because it takes longer to explain and isn’t as easy to sell for entrepreneurship blogs.
Thales Learning & Development, a UK-based business consultancy group sent us this infographic on what it means to be a “Strategic leader” – or “Ultimate leader”, as they put it:
Recap: Traits of a Strategic Leader
Great leaders build great teams and rely on them to get the job done.
2.) Inspiring ownership
Creates a climate where employees feel personally invested in their work.
3.) Articulating a vision
A great leader can give a clear, common goal everyone feels they can work towards.
4.) Projecting confidence
The team knows their leader is competent and knows their stuff.
A strategic leader has the awareness to avoid disaster and grab opportunities that come along.
6.) Balancing the short and the long
“Work for tomorrow without ignoring today.”
7.) Developing human capital
Good leaders create leaders at every level. To add to this, they plan for their own absence, ensuring that they themselves are not indispensable.
We recently posted an article on leadership, and in it Marcus explains that leadership is the first step to becoming an entrepreneur. It’s important to realize that entrepreneurs will definitely need to brush up on their leadership chops, even before they find themselves running a team.
Leadership is an art, and there is no single path to becoming a “good” leader. Not only do we have differing ideas of what “good leadership” means, every would-be leader is different, and each will find themselves involved in unique situations.
While the above seems reasonable, it’s always best to be open about other frameworks that come your way and to compare them with your own experiences.
Quality leadership isn’t achieved by going through entrepreneurship blogs, forums, and certainly won’t be achieved by reading through infographics, no matter how well made. While those things can help, you will ultimately be in the best position to know what your problems are and what could be done to work on them.
Does the idea of Strategic leadership make sense to you? Why or why not? Comment below!