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Leading with Strategic Thinking: Four Ways Effective Leaders Gain Insight, Drive Change, and Get Results by Aaron K. Olson, B. Keith Simerson

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4Applying Strategic Leadership

Up to this point, we have focused on establishing a clear understanding of what strategic leadership is. We looked at existing views regarding both leadership and strategic thinking, reviewing the most significant concepts and theories that exist today. We explored the intersection of those two topics, introducing our own definition of strategic leadership as the application of those concepts to find the most effective manner in a given situation to gain insight and drive change. We defined the four types of strategic leadership, and we described each of them based on our conversations with hundreds of leaders. We used four specific leaders to bring these best practices to life. With that as background, we now turn our attention to the matter of putting all of this to work. How can individuals apply these principles of strategic leadership to get results?

We will address this by returning to the two questions we introduced in Chapter 2, highlighting the primary decisions that every leader must make in how they choose to approach their work:

  • How will you gain strategic insight?
  • How will you drive strategic change?

The first question will inform where you focus in order to identify the best direction to go. The second question will determine the principles used when deciding how to proceed. We will now explore these questions, one at a time.

Gaining Strategic Insight

Too often, the decision regarding where one gains insight isn't a decision at ...

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