On Forbes' website, Kate Beatty, from The Center for Creative Leadership, has a terrific article that seeks to define the key attributes of an effective "strategic leader." By that, she means someone who isn't just delivering short-term operational results, but who is a good strategist positioning the firm effectively against its rivals for the long term. She identifies three key characteristics, which she describes as strategic thinking, acting, and influencing:
1. "First, strategic thinking is grounded in a strong understanding of the complex relationship between the organization and its environment. It requires taking a broad view, involving the right people, with important information and perspectives, asking probing questions and facilitating conversations. Strategic thinkers then identify connections, patterns and key issues."
2. "Next, strategic acting involves taking decisive action that is consistent with the strategic direction of the organization--despite all ambiguity, complexity and chaos. A strategic plan is only a plan; an organization's actual strategies lie in the decisions and choices people make."
3. "Finally, strategic influencing is about building commitment to the organization's strategic direction by inviting others into the strategic process, forging relationships inside and outside the organization, and navigating the political landscape."