There’s a fine line that separates an operational leader from a strategic one. Be it a change in structures, patterns, work-flows, personnel or skills, an operational leader needs to imbibe certain practices, principles and skill-sets to become a strategic leader. Now the question lies as to how to transform from an operational leader to a strategic role? The answer lies in focusing on the following aspects:-
5 Strategic-Leadership Skills that Can Increase Team Productivity
Getting Educated about the Organisation’s Strategies and Business Plans
Moving from an operational leadership role to a strategic one requires a solid understanding of its existing strategies, business plans and other policies – Going through corporate’s annual reports, analysing customer preferences, and ensuring how separate departments work together to achieve corporational objectives.
Getting Face-to-Face with Business Leaders and Senior Advisors
Having regular meetings and face-to-face interviews with senior associates and C-level executives of the firm helps operational leaders understand their corporate’s mission, vision, and other parameters. Asking questions regarding the strategies they wish to implement? The vision behind developing strategies? And How the strategies or plans deployed will bring in profits? And others will allow operational leaders to get a perspective.
Learning about Strategic Leadership Particulars
It’s a no-brainer that if an individual employed in operational leadership capacity wants to move up into a strategic leader’s prosperous role, he/she needs to get educated about the role’s subtleties. Several leadership programs online render aspiring leaders with the prerequisites that this lucrative career role demands.
Moreover, while recruiting applicants for strategic leadership roles, companies lookout for applicants who have gathered knowledge from prestigious institutes, therefore, the strategic management course from XLRI comes in handy for professionals who want to move into a successful leadership career.
Continuously Developing Strategic Abilities
Being adept in strategic leadership capacity requires well-rounded insights about strategic planning, development and execution of policies, plans and other strategies. Keeping up to date with recent trends, researching and reading about strategic processes involved in team-environment and other practical aspects will prepare professionals for acquiring strategic leadership roles.
Understanding the History and Future Scope of Leadership
It’s essential for operational leaders transcending into strategic roles to understand the history and future scope of leadership and change management. Leadership being a people-centric job role, has undergone historical changes that are influencing its present and future. Therefore, knowing about strategic leadership’s history and future advancements will allow professionals to fine-tune their skill-sets accordingly.
These points as mentioned above, emphasise the essence of knowledge about existing leadership models, building connections and networking with senior leaders, getting educated from correct resources, regularly developing strategic insight and understanding leadership’s history and analysing its future. In addition to these, teaching the right skill-sets through a certified program such as a strategic management course from XLRI helps in levelling up from operational to strategic roles.
Skills that Transform an Operational Leader to a Strategic Leader
A plethora of leadership programs online provide executives with skill-sets that help them ace strategic leadership roles. Apart from offering and fine-tuning skills, understanding major aspects of management and leadership domains helps professionals develop a robust and successful career.
Here’s a list of skills that professionals must focus on while shifting from operational to a strategic leadership role:-
Ability to Solve Complex Problems Strategically
Successful leaders possess the ability to solve problems and provide strategic solutions. Problem-solving can be associated while canvassing an organisational strategy, planning daily tasks, solving technical issues, and other workplace issues. Strategic leaders zero in on the factors that cause problems and try to smoothen work-flows, operations to streamline pathways.
Customising Leadership Approaches
Working with various sets of individuals from cross-functional teams gets challenging in managing and leading employees successfully. While some team-members might respond well to feedback and work diligently under pressure, others might enjoy working under flexible and relaxed environments. Strategic leaders must customise their approaches and motivate employees towards completing their tasks.
Excellent Decision-Making Skills
Apart from solving problems and customising approaches, another vital facet of strategic leadership roles is to make tough decisions. Leaders make decisions that are logical, rational and backed by data and research. Whether making decisions while bringing an employee on-board, choosing correct methodologies for a strategy or changing the company’s existing work-structures, leaders must possess excellent decision-making skills.
Displaying Honesty and Loyalty Towards Employees and Team-Members
Did you know, as per a study performed by Forbes in 2020, an astonishing 82% of organisational employees don’t trust their bosses to tell the truth?
This is mind-boggling since, in a company’s hierarchy, the leader must be transparent with its employees to foster a healthy and loyal team culture. It’s amongst the hardest skills to develop, but truthfulness and loyalty help bring team-members and strategic leader/s together. Giving out honest feedback, appreciating employees publicly and providing constructive criticism are some ways that bolster loyalty and honesty within the organisational setup.
Interpretation of Ambiguous Data
Another vital skill for strategic leaders to survive and thrive in this capacity is to interpret ambiguous information. Leaders must identify patterns, develop meaningful insights from complicated situations and build a satisfying viewpoint for different things. Interpretation of data can be done by gathering perspectives from various stakeholders, looking at the bigger picture, and connecting the dots to arrive at a conclusion.
This skill is a by-product of sifting through ambiguous data. Going through contrasting viewpoints and information help in anticipating future challenges. This is a skill that makes strategic leaders bankable and resourceful for the organisation. The ability to sense challenges helps in mitigating future risks and hazards.
The strategic management course from XLRI will help professionals enhance their skill-sets through guided practical sessions and well-planned course modules.
UpSkill Today for Career Transformation
The above mentioned skill-sets help operational leaders move towards the prosperous strategic leadership role. Professionals must focus on acquiring the correct skill-sets and honing them as they mature in their career roles. In addition to inculcating skill-sets, it’s essential to get educated from the correct courses and certifications.
Therefore, enrolling for credible leadership programs online will equip learners with the core fundamentals of this domain. For professionals looking for a sophisticated and meticulous program that moulds them for leadership and managerial career roles, the strategic management course from XLRI will help professionals immensely.