Developing a Leadership Strategy
Based on pages 3-6 of Developing a leadership strategy: journal article, what does the author mean
when he implies that the future of strategy is leadership? How well does this view align with the need
for leadership in today�s business environment? Give reasons for your answer.
On pages 6-7 of Developing a leadership strategy: journal article, the author identifies six strategic
leadership tasks. How useful is his framework in defining the kinds of leadership required by modern
companies? Give reasons for your answer.
The author of Developing a leadership strategy:journal article (pgs. 23-25) has a very specific view of
Talent Sustainability. To what extent do you agree with this view? Give reasons for your answer.
The business landscape today is very dynamic. Traditionally, only a handful of
businesses competed for resources and customers and the business that surpassed the
minimum qualifications would be preferred. However, in this information age, both
businesses and consumers have an avalanche of information that they sift through in order to
make informed decisions. For businesses, success is dependent on how scarce resources are
utilized in meeting goals and objectives at the least cost. There are many factors that should
be considered. Technology has brought about many opportunities that can augment the
strength of a business. However, it has also brought about threats that can magnify
weaknesses as well.
In order to guarantee the profitability of a company in future, one must first of all
consider the present circumstances and resources. Forecasting for the future is usually
dependent on an assessment of the business position and comparing it to the desired position.
Within all these, the most important ingredient is leadership. Leaders are responsible for
balancing all the disparate elements that make up a business. In the wider context of
businesses today, the most important resources are the human resources in which leadership
Traditionally, organizations used to have bureaucratic structures that were informed
by scientific management and classical leadership and management theorists. In the present
however, organizational success can only be guaranteed by tapping the knowledge, skills and
competencies that are possessed by human resources. The most important factor to consider
is the amount of knowledge that is contained within a particular business’ workforce (Nonaka
& von Krogh, 2009). If the right combination of skills, abilities and competencies is
achieved, then a business can be able to capitalize on opportunities arising from within itself.
Many organizations today have adopted flatter structures where every employee is given an
opportunity to contribute to the overall decision making system. This empowerment is meant
to foster creativity and innovation.
Since organizations have many people employed within their ranks and who have
differing opinions and ideas about how to capitalize on opportunities in the market, there is
need for leadership in order to appraise these ideas and settle on the most viable. The most
notable knowledge firms in the world today are those that have had exceptional leaders who
saw opportunities and guided them towards their capitalization (Gupta & Sushil, 2004). An
example of such leaders is Steve Jobs who was credited for the reversal of fortunes of the
Apple brand that was on the brink of collapse. Other charismatic leaders whose visions have
driven companies forward include Bill Gates of Microsoft and Paul Allen at Oracle. These
leaders were the difference between the success their companies are today and the resounding
failures they would be had they not taken the opportunities that propelled them to success.
The development of a leadership strategy entails the coalition of a number of different
strategic leadership tasks. The overall leadership strategy is similar to a business strategy and
requires meticulous planning while considering all the disparate elements (Miller, 1992). The
leadership framework depicted in the journal article is sufficient in defining the leadership
required in modern organizations on three accounts. First, the framework allows for the
consideration and scanning of both the internal and external business environments.
Understanding the dynamics of either environment is a first step towards accruing advantages
that eventually lead to success. The framework allows for the organization and its leadership
to be analyzed as a starting step. This ensures that the needs of the organization are well
documented before any plans for leadership are made. Second, the framework allows for the
environment in which the organization operates to be analyzed. Both of these actions allow
for the organization to determine its position and the speed in which things are moving. This
is important in order to predict the future outlook.
The second account is that the framework allows for strategic options to be
considered. After analyzing the organization, the environment, the customers, the
stakeholders and the competitors, the next logical step is brainstorming options. This entails
the application of creativity tools that could help the organization acquire a competitive
advantage. Opportunities and threats are also identified in the framework and problem
solving mechanisms considered.
The third account is the evaluation of the leadership options chosen. Future leadership
should be able to make sure that missed opportunities help the organization in learning
(Gamble, Thompson & Strickland, 2010). Modern companies require are constantly evolving
meaning that a solid strategy today could be obsolete in the near future. The only means of
avoiding this is by constantly evaluating the options that are available to the organization and
attempting to identify areas that might benefit from a new perspective. The leadership of the
organization is mandated with ensuring that all options are considered at the reevaluation
level. The only way of ensuring that the leadership itself is up to scratch is by reevaluating it.
The framework allows for this option. If well implemented in an organization it can lead to
filling of various roles with people with the right competencies, abilities, skills and talents.
Since these leaders may become complacent upon realizing the first successes, the leadership
framework would serve to reorient them or replace them with others possessing new ideas
and ready to challenge the status quo. The major characteristic of modern organizations is
that they are constantly evolving and the framework proposed in the journal ensures that the
leadership evolves together with the business.
The author illustrates 8 elements that are important for talent sustainability. The first
step is attracting the talent. The management must then ensure that the talent is developed and
eventually ensure that there is planning for succession. The author argues that the subject of
talent is very sensitive and very important to the company for it to be left to human resources
managers to manage. He asserts that talent development should be left to CEOs and other top
managers. Since modern organizations require competent managers at the top who have a
wide array of skills and knowledge to steer their firms into the unknown future, the most
obviously place to concentrate the talent available in the organization is at the top (Wright,
2005). The human resource department is usually preoccupied with filling positions in middle
management and line employees to have the required focus and time to shape an individual
into the mold of a CEO.
There is a lot of emphasis that is placed on competence in the modern organization.
Pasmore (2014) argues that competence development and management is individually
oriented and static and that insistence on the acquisition of this competence is an information
journey that is endless. He cautions that the modern organization should be more focused on
organizational learning and team building so that they complement individual abilities and
The model of talent sustainability has many elements that are helpful for the
company. It highlights the most important points that are required not for the daily running of
the organization but for identifying opportunities in the business environment and
capitalizing on them. One of the elements that exemplify this is the sourcing and recruiting of
top talent. The author argues that the most sensible place to start sourcing for the right people
is in identifying those that already possess the inclination to do what is required by the
organization (Handfield-Jones & Beth, 2001). Many top firms believe that it is important to
start by identifying the people who are the right fit for the company. Pasmore (2014) argues
that many firms fail in their change endeavors since rather than seek out the talent they
require to move the organizations forward, they attempt to effect changes with the leadership
they already have. The author argues that some of the best talents in different organizations
are bogged down by leadership roles that do not require much talent. The recommendation is
that positions like that should be outsourced so that the talent that is attracted to the company
is focused on effecting changes and moving the organization forward.
Talent sustainability requires the management of organizational culture to ensure that
it is oriented to the goals of the company. Culture, either organizational or leadership, is a
major deterrence to development and eventually the success of the organization. There is
therefore need for organizations that are serious about orienting their talents to success to
ensure that there is a positive organizational and leadership culture. Otherwise, a negative
culture will ultimately derail the general organizational focus.
Gamble, A. A., Thompson, Jr., A.J. & Strickland, J. E. (2010) Crafting and executing
strategy : the quest for competitive advantage : concepts and cases (17th ed. ed.).
Gupta, J. & Sushil, S. (2004) Creating Knowledge Based Organizations. Boston: Idea Group
Handfield-Jones, H. & Beth, A. (2001) The War for Talent. Harvard Business Press
Miller, D. (1992) ‘The generic strategy trap’, The Journal of Business Strategy, 13(1), 37-41
Nonaka, I. & von Krogh, G. (2009) ‘Tacit Knowledge and Knowledge Conversion:
Controversy and Advancement in Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory’,
Organization Science, 20 (3), 635–652
Pasmore, W. (2014) Developing a Leadership Strategy: A Critical Ingredient for
Organizational Success. White Paper, Centre for Creative Leadership
Wright, K. (2005) ‘Personal knowledge management: supporting individual knowledge
worker performance’, Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 3 (3),