Leadership refers to a set of characteristics which assist a person in enforcing others in the formulation of the organization objectives while motivating them to participate in the realization of the organizational objectives. Fundamentally, leadership is an essential component of the organization, especially in the decision-making forum (Bozaykut, 2016). Therefore leaders need to be supportive and responsible for guiding the followers. Leaders are supposed to involve and appreciate the role played by the subordinate staff. Leaders have the sole responsibility for ensuring smooth relationships occurs across the organization to achieve the organizational goals. For greater performance to be achieved leaders have to involve everyone in strategic planning. Visions of the organizations are achieved when leaders are committed to their duties. This paper is focused on elucidating the role of leadership in strategic planning with close analysis of the Covey`s principles.
Role of Leadership in Strategic Planning Process
Given that strategic planning involves envisioning the long-term, complex and future-oriented decisions which require resource mobilization, leadership is very important in putting the plan into perspective. Leaders are supposed to be proactive in their work to influence the outcome of the organization's goals. The successes of a strategic plan purely depend on the commitment of the leaders to oversee the preparation of the planning process (Crumpton, 2015). The leaders have to prepare the followers for the expected plans and evoke a feeling of commitment of the followers to the changes. Therefore, they have a role in clarifying the strategic plan, building the expected team spirit and shaping the culture of the employees in line with the plans. The team effort is significant in that the leaders are required to work through the followers, by organizing, developing a culture and motivating the followers. On the other hand, the leaders decide in the members who will participate in each aspect of the strategic planning process, gather information that is accurate and detailed. Finally, leadership is vital in the identification of the particular issues that need to be addressed.
Clarifying the Vision and Mission
Leadership has a role in organizing and streamlining the working of the employees to work towards the planning and execution of the plans. This ensures the change management process is clear and flexible through the preparation of the employees to share in the vision and mission of the organization. For leaders to be effective, they need to work based on principle, and they are to review the mission statement depending on the situations. Leaders act as controllers of the organization in aligning the members to the objectives of the organizations. They play a role in showing the employees the way and telling them how to implement the changes. Leaders should value and respect each employee as a win for all is the ultimate goal of the department. This also runs with the leadership to find the right way for the employees to execute the strategic plan and providing guidelines for achieving the strategic plan. Leaders should act as motivators, for strategies to bear fruits it has to be implemented. It is the responsibility of leaders, therefore, to motivate the subordinate to achieve the desired goals, for people to perform motivation has to be involved. The leader is also the agent of development regarding developing structures and cultures of the organization that is in tandem with the objectives of the organizations.
Identifying the Current and Foreseeable Market Situation
According to the covey principle, leaders have the mandate of eliciting the vision for the company so that they can adequately plan and work towards achieving it. This is accompanied by the constant review of the mission of the organization. The leadership of the organizations is responsible for the gathering of the current market information on the underlying situation in the market. This includes conducting a market analysis using the strength, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the strategic plan. The leadership has to analyze the internal structures of the organization and the external environment of the business to ascertain the viability of the plan. Therefore leaders have to mobilize the organizational strategy for better execution of the plan. Furthermore, leaders have a role in developing new knowledge and competencies among the existing staff to undertake the mandates of the organization. This should, however, be accompanied by integrity and social responsibility drives.
Leaders are supposed to set and agree on priorities especially when handling critical issues in the planning process. Therefore, leaders have to harmonize the aspirations of the employees on the matter that need urgency and those that can be postponed for further dates. This enables the organization to focus on the specific, measurable, attainable, and reasonable and time-bound (SMART) goals that bring more objectivity to the organization. The leadership is also tasked with starting with programs that are important and urgent.
Harmonizing the Vision
Leaders are supposed to put together all the pieces of the plans for the company for easy review and implementation. Leaders being changed enablers and drivers should transform and facilitates the strategic processes in the organization. It is through leadership that the organization is stimulated to attain the goals set. Since people hate changes, it is upon the leaders to lay proper strategies to overcome that as change enablers. Therefore, the leaders have the role of using their emphatic listening skills so that the employees open up. This creates the notion of effective problem solving and caring which ultimately translates to positive outcomes.
Distribution of Tasks and Actions
Leaders having put the entire plan in one document, it is important to assign duties to a particular team, individual or department for implementation. For proper execution, every person in the organization should participate through the measurement of the individual output. Monitoring of the plan is necessary, and the output has to be measured either quarterly or monthly staff meetings to hold employees accountable (Lurie, 2016). This will ensure that the activities that were plan for are happening, and necessary rectifications and adjustments are made to achieve the set strategic goals of the organization. Based on the covey`s principle, the leader needs to be proactive by analyzing the circle of concern and influence of every employee when assigning the task (Kumar, 2014). This will ensure the best task for the best person.
Actualizing the Plan
After distribution of roles to every department in strategic planning team, the leaders engaged in rolling out the plan for the realization of the achievement. Leaders the disseminate information to each department for adoption, and alignment of the employees. This will enable every employee to play their role to their best in executing the plan of the organization (Murphy, 2014). Leaders as responsible agents in the working of the organization should play a decision making role to ensure alleviation of emerging problems to the set plan. It is at this point that leaders are supposed to facilitate the functions of every section through proper resource allocation. It is the duty of every leader to distribute resources as required since the implementation of the plan needs resources. To this end, leaders should liaise with others in the organization through forming alliances with other organizations. The main duty is to network and align with the organization both internally and externally and even globally and locally. They also have to renew and balance the resources in the organization for the creation of the effective, long-term and sustainable plan.
Accountability and Responsibility
Finally, leaders have to hold every employee to be accountable. For strategies to be efficiently implemented every employee should be involved. Employees should understand change is inevitable and that efforts channeled towards implementation of strategies planned. Leaders, therefore, should strive to motivate and inspire the people to change in the organization as people resistant to change (Sterling, 2013). However, in holding everyone accountable, the leaders have to synergize the work of the employees. This involves combining their strength and improvements to achieve bigger tasks that appear unreal for a single person. Before the execution of the plan, the leaders have to empower the thinking of the employees by making them understand that the win of an organization is ultimately their win given that they took part in the execution of the plan.
In conclusion, leadership in an organization is key in ensuring that the strategies formulated are implemented for proper achievement of the objective of the organization. Vision and mission statement should play a guiding role in the formulation of the strategy in any given organization, and the leaders are the main drivers of a given organization. The success of a strategic plan is also based on the active participation and motivation of every aspect of the employee.
Bozaykut-Buk, T. (2016). Giving risk management culture a role in strategic planning. Contributions to management science, 311-321. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-47172-3_21
Crumpton, M. A. (2015). The role of leadership. Strategic Human Resources Planning for Academic Libraries, 69-79. doi:10.1016/b978-1-84334-764-4.00007-1
Kumar, A. (2014). Arun Kumar, Authority on Dr.Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Global Journal Of Enterprise Information System, 6(2), 105. http://dx.doi.org/10.15595/gjeis/2014/v6i2/51855
Lurie, L. (2016). Strategic planning for future delivery of care: Onboarding foreign-educated nurses. Nurse Leader, 14(6), 427-432. doi:10.1016/j.mnl.2016.08.014
Murphy, E. A. (2014). Healthcare reforma new role for changing times: Embracing the clinical nurse leader roleA strategic partnership to drive outcomes. Nurse Leader, 12(4), 53-57. doi:10.1016/j.mnl.2014.05.010
Sterling, J. (2013). Association for strategic planning highlights Part 2. Strategy & Leadership, 41(6). http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/sl-07-2013-0055
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