Last stone on Pyramid dervish is really relative new phenomena and in my opinion there is no exact prescription or check list how to do it. As a matter of fact it shouldn’t have prescription because it is about people and leading people and organization. In this content it is also hard to establish norms and values for leadership. In my paper I would try to explain my framework of strategic leadership and mention things that matter. For me Strategic leadership doesn’t have to be stereotype, it must be very flexible and dynamic.
Even I don’t believe in Strategic leadership prescription am going to explain what kind of elements my leadership is based on. Using my experience and SSL rouser framework have defined four main elements of my SSL framework. In following paragraphs I am going to explain each of them and give some “stone” of each element in order to build my SSL pyramid. Before I explain elements of my Strategic leadership I have to define the last “stone” in my pyramid that connect all elements of Strategic Leadership. That stone is Vision. No person can provide successful leadership without vision.
No person can connect all elements of leadership if doesn’t have clear picture what to do next and which direction to go. Vision is connective tissue that ivies leaders and followers comfort in exercising leadership. In my opinion, vision shouldn’t state current situation, it should state future of every organization. Vision is not only important for leaders but maybe more important for members of organization. I have experienced that vision is misinterpreted and understood as mission. Vision has to be sent to the last person in organization, it has to be understood and adopted by everybody.
Only in that case it is possible to go in right direction. Let me come back on Strategic Leadership elements that I have identified in my SSL framework. As aid, I have identified four main elements of SSL framework. 1. Personal ability. This element is more or less in correlation with course framework and provides things that are depending on personal ability of any person. In my opinion one person has to be born with some kind of talent for leadership. It is very common that each profession and ability depends on talent. In my career I have tried to make leaders but simply it doesn’t work.
Intellect is very much connected with previous personal ability and there is no need to be explained deeply. One of the most important things for me is Philanthropy. We say that leadership is about leading people; in that case it isn’t possible to disregard people and their feelings. People are human beings and they have needs and problems as every one of us has. I have experienced harder work from individuals when they are satisfied and when they see you care about them. In my leadership always give credit to the people in advance in that case they feel more responsible and they have feeling they own to me and to organization especially.
Believe me people are ready to return more than you give them but they just need that small favor to be given when they need it. In cost cases they return more than they got. Another thing that matters to me is Role model. I am not talking that you don’t have to base you all life and leadership on somebody else’s but role model is needed in initial phase of your leadership. You need role model just to “speed you up” and to give idea in what direction to go. After you gain speed and hit the road it is about you and your ability to exercise leadership. Energy is main fuel to drive you in your leadership. Et energy from many resources. Usually my main resource is philanthropy but also my family, friends and willing to resolve problems and lead organization. Another big resource for my energy is success in problem solving and high status of my organization. Leaders are satisfied and full of energy when they see success of their hard work and hard work of all members of organization. That energy has to be passed to each member of organization, they have to feel that energy and accept it as a part of organization. Character is another stone in personal ability element.
I often listen people say “don’t touch him he has bad character’. I really think that I have to have ‘tame” character. It is necessary because only in that case people will approach you not being afraid. Also, member of your team can express what they think without fear of consequences. Bad character doesn’t help you in any case; it can only make distance between leader and member of organization. I understand that character is also some that has been given naturally but at least can be controlled. Sense making is very important in problem solving, critical thinking and communication inside organization.
Sometimes we have to play devil’s advocate to make sense and to take in consideration all possible solutions. In my leadership, I usually use phrase “does it make sense”. Making sense is crucial part of critical thinking. It is important part of finding solutions to the problems. Analyze is daily routine in my Strategic Leadership. Without analyzing situation, possible solutions and outcomes my leadership is not possible. I take maybe more time to analyze and make plans than execution process. Execution for me is only technical problem. Analyze has to be done in all phases of decision making.
Another important thing of personal ability is also Communication. The way how you communicate people and organization is very important. Sometimes bad communication can lead you in suffering and fighting with problems you are to supposed to have them. Your energy can be spent for something that it isn’t part of your plans and actions. In my opinion communication isn’t part of orders all written rules it is part of human behavior. Showing respect to everybody is part of good communication. You have to be able to find way to communicate on all levels; even we talk about strategic level here.
After you set up your vision you have to be able to maintain right direction toward vision. On that way many problems will appear and problem solving is part that should clean your way to the top of pyramid. Problem solving is complex issue and it asks using all potential you have. It requires using all personal ability have already mentioned. But again how successfully you will solve some problems it depends on your personal ability. As you can see personal abilities are the most important element of leadership. It is about you. It is about your natural predisposition, talent, experience and learning. . Environment. This element is mostly connected with socio-politic status in country, status of organization and relationship in organization. Environment plays a significant role in developing Strategic leadership and leadership in mineral. In my opinion you cannot go so much against society you are living in. Because of that Values of Society play very important role in leadership. Society with its values has major influence on you. Because of that we can find different kind of leaders, from totalitarian to very democratic, from corrupted to very honest and high integrity.
Unfortunately they are so many that are poison leaders. Culture plays also big role in making right leaders. It is very connected with values of society but sometimes in same society you can find different kind of leaders in some cases totally different. When I say efferent think bad and good leaders. Am aware that each leader has own way of exercising leadership. I am also aware that my Strategic leadership is based on culture, religion and values of society. Simply, you cannot avoid to be affected from this influence. Every organization has internal values that can be recognized through many things.
I am not talking about visible values but embedded values. These values aren’t necessary written but they are followed just because people like them and they are comfortable with them. Internal values can differ but they are very influenced by external values. For example, our former armed forces (in Yugoslavia) had internal values in all areas. But today, in Macedonian Armed Forces those values are more influenced by external values especially from civilian side. We use to have military court, military hospitals, military prisons, military factories etc. But today all of that it belongs to civilian sector.
You can imagine how much influence of external values has been done to our internal military organizations. In my country political influence is very big. It has been saying that you cannot become successful strategic leader if you don’t lean to some party. Unfortunately that is true. Even I don’t pay attention to this issue it has to be taken in consideration when you are dealing with leadership and communicating your organization. In many cases you have given power and you have to handle it. Wrong approach and using given power as personal power in many cases isn’t very good.
Given power is just tool of interagency communication. That gives you right and appropriate level to be part of broader national decisions. Complex problems are ever. Veer and also in each organization. Sometimes one problem can be spread in many organizations. Problems are interconnected and it requires team work. Sometimes resolving one complex problem can lead you to another one. Religion and Social status are part of my pyramid but am not going to explain them because they are so complicated it requires deep explanation. 3. Practical use. This element is part of daily use of strategic leadership.
This element allows you to show your ability for leadership. This element is also exposed to the public and can be judged. This is also element that affects people that you care about. Critical thinking and Transformational leadership are foundation of this element. Every leader has to have something “transformational” in him. I see critical thinking and transformation as very related. Every time something will appear, if you think critical. Something that will be much better for organization and people. Transformational leadership doesn’t have to look for changes all the times.
Your leadership should be part of critical thinking. Self-criticizing is healthy for organization and it provides you with self-evaluation. Most of the time people say “Do what I say don’t do what I do”. Unfortunately self-criticizing is unknown for many leaders. Leaders usually forget that they are leading people and organizations. They forget hey have to lead people and organization. Building trust is one of the heaviest stone in my pyramid. Simply, it is so heavy that can kill you. In the history that stone has killed many leaders like Causes, Godhead, Embark and others.
It is very hard to find right stone and it is very hard also to make it. Building trust is very difficult. It is hard especially when people don’t have reason to believe you. If organization and people don’t see any results of your leadership why should they trust you? How much people believe you can be seen easily in results of their work. Integrity doesn’t need to be explained so such. Integrity is part of living, it is part of your behavior, it is way to stay away from any influence, political, financial, and others. In recent time we are witness how integrity can be destroyed with one wrong move.
Don’t allow your pyramid to fall down just because fifths stone. We have saying and also many songs about team work. One of the songs say “Together We are stronger’ the other one say ” Concord builds palace”. It is obvious that something can be done individually but much more can be done with team work. Part of every job and also leadership is risk taking. In some cases risk is accessory to achieve goals and vision. We cannot predict every situation. Sometimes risk taking is necessary to get advantage over other that they are waiting for better conditions.
Many leaders are avoiding risk because they are afraid to loose position and privileges. If I feel it is right way to do it am not afraid to take risk at any price. Leaders have to build consensus. It is vital to listen to the others and have different opinions. We don’t have to stick to our thinking and pursue our ideas if there is better one. Leadership has to be flexible and be ready to accept consensus. Leading changes is also important part in practical use of leadership. Changes are necessary whenever we see better outcome. But changes don’t have to be done just because we take over organization.
We have to be careful about changes and obstacles that may come out. Whenever we lead changes we have to give clear picture to everyone why we change, where we are going with changes and what outcomes we can expect from changes. We have to be continuously goal oriented. It is very important to stay on track and not forgetting what is our goal. During changes, leaders forget or disregard main goal. 4. Affect, Effect ND Outcome. This element is product of our leadership. This is mirror that shows us what outcomes of our leadership are.
This element/side of pyramid is essential to check yourself. It matters to me how exercise my leadership. It matters if I have strong organization or have organization that can be broken very easily after my leaving. If I know that my organization will be successful even am not present that would be success. Strong organization has to be outcome of your good leadership. Adopting values has been very difficult. After it is done values have to be preserved. Every leader has to give nutrition to values of organization hoping that some of his values can be adopted by organization. Already write about energy. Energy of organization is something that can be felt in every corner. This energy is engine that drives each member. Each organization has to be Self-healing from different kind of “illness”. It is up to leaders to make this kind of organization that will reject any case of illness. It is up to leaders to give as much as confidence to the member of organization. Only confident organization can move forward. Trust has to be built not only toward leader but also internally. That is also outcome and effect of our leadership.
With personal example we can build internal trust. With personal example we can also built selfishness in our organization. Hopefully, somebody will find role model in you like you find to somebody else. Don’t keep your knowledge and information just for yourself, share that knowledge with others. Make successful successor to your organization. Only in that case you prescribe long live for your organization. Make each person of organization to feel as member of team. We have to find way every person to find place in organization and feel that organization as part of “big family’.
We should include as much as possible people in team work and make them feel worth and part of organizational success. Every member of organization has to understand that your goal is also his goal. When organization is hurt everyone has to feel hurt. When organization has achievements, everyone has to feel part of those achievements. We have to spread common goal sense to each member. We have to introduce healthy competence between members but not fighting for positions. In conclusion, I will say that I have used four elements for my Strategic leadership framework. They are represented as part of 3-D pyramid.