5Garnering Buy-in, Commitment, and Advocacy

We have introduced four strategic leadership types, described the focus and emphasis of each, given examples of how they are best applied, and illustrated each type with representative cases. Regardless of the leadership type employed, it is important to recognize the slate of external forces and internal factors influencing both short-term and long-term success. This involves “connecting the dots” to determine how best to proceed.

Strategic leadership almost always involves continuous improvement and constant adaptation. It involves refining a strategy to take advantage of emerging opportunities and mitigate prevailing threats. Such refinement is a requirement and not an option. It ensures that the strategic intent remains valid and maximizes the positive impact of activities intended to turn a vision into reality.

Our experience and the conversations we've had with others suggest that the best strategy will still produce suboptimal results if individuals think and act in isolation. A leader's success relies on followers—followers willing and able to offer creative ideas and contribute to the execution of those ideas. A group of people who are each excellent individually will produce suboptimal results if steps are not also taken to build a capable and committed team aligned in their intent, effort, and contribution.

The support of individuals will not occur merely through happenstance. Stakeholders must understand and commit to the ...

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