Strategy and leadership are intertwined and inseparable. Leaders require a transformational mindset in order to successfully develop and execute a transformative strategy.
Transformation in an organisational context is a process of profound and radical change that orients an organisation in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness and success.
A Sh1 billion company achieves transformation if it reconfigures its revenue streams to say, Sh100 billion within its 10 years strategic cycle, with phenomenal profitability. It is like the caterpillar becoming the butterfly, achieving radical transformation, complete remake that is completely different from the initial structure, and make-up.
The goal is to help an organisation experience above normal business growth by removing common leadership barriers that hold leaders back from reaching new heights.
Transformational leaders realise amazing growth in results, profits and benefits by exploiting value advantages in being knowledgeable, inspirational to influence behaviour change; exhibiting excellent ability to prioritise goals and concentrate resources where it matters most and helping staff achieve their best potential.
Education and vast relevant experience equip leaders with knowledge. Knowledge is to a leader what matching orders is to a solder and it signifies readiness to take progressive action.
Management experts have long held that without knowledge, action is useless but without action, all that knowledge a leader possesses is futile. If a leader does not have the right knowledge, strategies and techniques and such a leader takes massive action, all such a leader stand to receive in return is a mess-up at very high rate of speed and that is disastrous.
Therefore, a good leader must have or must seek to have the right knowledge, tools and strategies before taking action in critical strategic areas.
As soon as a leader has obtained the right tools, information and the necessary know how, the next logical step is to take decisive action. Any desirable action not taken at precisely the right time is lost opportunity that will most likely benefit the competition, and hurt the company.
The role of a leader is to set the goal and let everyone follow with enthusiasm. A leader has a wonderful vision of a better future and a clear path of how to get there. The key is to set the vision in such a compelling way that staff are excited to follow without coercion.
A true leader inspires and gets staff to follow the vision because they want to be a part of that bright and successful future. As a leader, you are not going to get a lot of movement in the desired direction if you do not motivate and inspire your staff.
Instead, you will get minimal buy-in, if at all, just the same way you will not get a lot of fresh ideas from them.
This is very bad when a leader wants to roll out a successful transformational strategy. Motivation and inspiration provides the energy and the right mindset to achieve a transformational agenda.
But, with minimal motivation, a leader will most likely find himself or herself in a situation where he or she wants to move forward, but is held back by a heavy anchor in form of unresponsive staff, hanging around the neck.
RANK PRIORITY GOALS
A leader focuses intensely on what is most important for the business. He or she focuses on the top goals that must be accomplished in his or her business. These are the goals that are going to make the business grow in leaps and bounds and become more profitable.
These are the goals that the strategic plan has assigned significant resources with strict timelines.
As a leader, everything you do in your business must flow from what is most important. The least important goals must be eliminated with no resources allocated to them. If a leader does not do this, then such a leader cannot possibly lead his or her staff in the right direction.
Leaders should channel resources to those areas that give maximum return or reward. They should not try to be everywhere at the same time but attempt to concentrate resources in few key actions for maximum results.
As a leader, you must have high emotional intelligence; know how to balance hard and soft skills and when to use which skill in given scenarios. Hard skills are ranked as low level whereas soft skills are ranked as high level. It is proven that high-level skills get better results compared to low-level skills.
Consequently, high-level skills will work at high levels with high results and conversely, low-level skills will work at low levels with low results.
Low-level skill is like when you are firing somebody, which is very easy. High-level skill on the other hand apply when a leader is training or mentoring somebody. He or she will invest time, resources and effort and patiently mentor for positive results. Knowing when to use soft or hard skill is crucial to the success of a leader’s strategy.
Sometime it is good to come hard on an employee for the employee’s own good, otherwise they will be have to be forced out the door sooner rather than later, in a bitter, sad ending that drains everybody. Being a hated or a repulsive boss takes a very low level of skill, and you are sure to get nothing moving unless you push and pull hard.
Real leaders are always helping others to grow. Some people think they are leaders but they are not, they are just low-level managers. They just get the fundamentals done, collect their pay at end of the month and go home and they are wondering why they are not being promoted.
They do not help others grow and they stifle the growth of people they consider a threat to their own survival. A true leader will utilise his or her staff and ensure they are continuously growing in their careers. Employees get more skillful and more productive when given more challenges and new responsibilities. This productivity may in fact be exponential and will reflect positively in the leader in the form of high rate of accomplished goals.
It is indeed true that a leader will get better when they can help employees get better. Therefore, a leader must make it his or her top priority to mentor staff, grow staff and train staff. How much training and mentorship a leader attains with staff to make them more productive will reflect on the company’s productivity and profitability, all to the credit of the leader.