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Leading with Strategic Thinking: Four Ways Effective Leaders Gain Insight, Drive Change, and Get Results



Leading with Strategic Thinking: Four Ways Effective Leaders Gain Insight, Drive Change, and Get Results

Aaron K. Olson, B. Keith Simerson

ISBN: 978-1-118-96817-8 March 2015 320 Pages



Be a more effective leader with strategic thinking

Leading with Strategic Thinking reveals what effective leaders do differently. Eschewing the one-size-fits-all leadership model, this helpful guide outlines four general leadership types and demonstrates how each type achieves success – whether through personal vision, structured process, collaboration, or by empowering others. The authors identify the actions and skills that distinguish strategic leadership, drawn from interviews and focus groups with over three hundred leaders from around the world. Examples and case studies illustrate these concepts in action, and the provided reference materials steer readers toward more advanced information on this important topic.

The disruptive forces of technology and globalization raise new challenges for leaders. This book is a manual that will help executives and aspiring leaders harness these forces and address the two central questions of strategic leadership:

  • How do the best leaders develop their strategy?
  • How do effective leaders drive strategic change?

Becoming a strategic leader isn’t about mimicking an icon. The most effective leaders seize opportunity in a way that consciously integrates environmental requirements, stakeholder expectations, and personal ability. Leading with Strategic Thinking shows what these leaders do, and gives anyone the tools to be a more strategic leader.

Foreword xi
Kristi Savacool

Preface xv

Introduction xxi

Issues and Considerations xxi

Fundamental Questions xxv

Chapter 1 Fundamentals of Strategic Thinking and Leadership 1

The Nature of Strategic Thinking 1

The Art of Leadership 22

Chapter 2 The Four Types of Strategic Leadership 47

The Visionary Type: Driving Strategy through Personal Insight 55

The Directive Type: Driving Strategy through Structure and Process 71

The Incubating Type: Driving Strategy through Empowering Others 84

The Collaborative Type: Driving Strategy through Cocreation 99

Chapter 3 Examples of Strategic Leadership 117

Indiegogo 118

P&G’s Latin American Merger with Gillette 130

Design for America 141

Google Takeout 149

Chapter 4 Applying Strategic Leadership 159

Gaining Strategic Insight 160

Driving Strategic Change 164

Todd Connor and the Bunker 168

Chapter 5 Garnering Buy-in, Commitment, and Advocacy 179

Winning the Hearts of Your Followers 181

The YMCA of the USA 184

Engaging the Minds of Your Followers 192

The United States Coast Guard 193

Leveraging the Hands of Your Followers 201

The Heartland Angels 203

Chapter 6 Developing Strategic Leadership 211

Competencies of the Strategic Leader 213

Organization and Individual Development 237

GE’s Crotonville 242

In Closing 247

Resources 249

Firming Up and Rounding Out Your Skills and Abilities 249

Notes 261

References 271

About the Authors 279

Index 28 

“Leading with strategic thinking is a fantastic place to start if you have an interest in bettering the way you behave and think (and strategise) as a leader, if you are looking for inspiration for bringing psychological or behavioural ideas to your business, or simply if you’re keen to understand more about yourself and where your actions might take you” (B2B Marketing, February 2016)