Leaders influence, inspire and motivate organisations and teams to a place or situation that may have previously appeared impossible to those team members involved. Leaders are futuristic in their perspective and that is why they stand out from managers. Whilst management was invented to control and optimise production lines and other process oriented ways of working during the industrial revolution, leadership has been around for a good deal longer. Management is about process and metrics, using targets and means of measurement as its tools. Leadership is much more intrinsic in its properties; more about vision and emotion it is much more the art of inspiration rather than the science of measurement. Leadership needs flexibility to match the human instincts it inspires, it needs vision to create and make real the desired end state, it needs trust to create the cohesion and judgement to mange and mitigate the risks and prioritise the available resources.
Strategy is about all this, it consists of four key tenets Vision, Risk Mitigation, Talent Management and the prioritisation of resources. The tenets are interdependent and require an overall strategy to hold them together and keep them synchronised. Strategy is not about two years it’s about 5- 10 years. Strategy is about inspiration and vision in a changing environment, it affords an opportunity to select a course and change a course, dependent upon the situational requirement to map out a route that matches the circumstances and yet still delivers the required end state. Strategy is synonymous with great leadership and it informs and inspires those managers and those teams that work for great leaders. Leaders need to understand and use strategy.