LSA Global Insights Newsletter: How Strategic Clarity Distinguishes High Performing Leaders - The Elite 6%

3.31.2016

How Strategic Clarity Distinguishes High Performing Leaders - The Elite 6%

a cartoon businessman outperforms another by leaping over a chasm

Only 6%. 

According to a recent USA Today article, only 6% of last year's Standard & Poor's 500 firms accounted for 50% of the profits.

These days, regardless of industry, it is not easy for leaders to consistently outperform their competition. Yet, leaders of 30 firms outperformed 94% of the other companies in their peer group. Apple in particular, the biggest profit contributor of the S&P 500 by a 2-to-1 margin, reported a whopping $53.7 billion in net income. As of this writing Apple had captured over 90% of the market's operating profits from only 20% of smartphone sales in the face of immense competition from both Samsung and Android. What sets companies like Apple apart from the other 94% struggling to thrive?  

Based upon our organizational alignment research of 410 companies across eight industries, 30% of the difference between high and low performing organizations related directly to leadership's ability to create a clear, believable and implementable strategy. 

Strategic Clarity 
Good leaders start by creating a business strategy that outlines clear and compelling choices about where they are headed, how to get there and why it matters. Our high performance organizational alignment research revealed that people find it difficult to perform at their peak until all team members commonly understand the direction, the plan, the part they are expected to play, and the expected benefits from reaching the objectives. In terms of clarity, Apple's strategy appears very potent; they rely on product innovation to surprise and delight a narrow target market in order to consistently sell high margin items. 

As a leader, you know you are on the right track in terms of strategic clarity when employees: 

  • Can clearly articulate the company's business strategy - the what, the how and the why.
  • Understand how their work and the work of their team directly contribute to company, team and individual success.


 Read about Creating Strategic Believabilty and Implementation as a Leader

About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned