LSA Global Insights Newsletter: Not All Leadership Skills Are Created Equal

July 29, 2023

Not All Leadership Skills Are Created Equal

Not All Leadership Skills Are Created Equal

Just as it takes a different set of skills to transition from an individual contributor to a successful new manager, it takes a different mindset and skillset to succeed as a strategic leader.

While both operational and strategic leadership roles are critical to growing a business, we know from leadership simulation assessment data that they each require different leadership approaches and competencies.

Strategic versus Operational Leadership

In general, operational leaders are charged with defining and executing operational plans to ensure that the day-to-day functions of the organization meet short-term corporate goals and accountabilitiesOperational leaders usually focus on relatively short time horizons, tactical issues, and low levels of risk. They are critical to running an efficient team or function.

The role of strategic leaders is different. Strategic leaders have a broader charter. They must see and connect employees to the big picture – not only how functional areas interconnect and impact each other, but also how the overall business strategy needs to evolve to meet future challenges.

Strategic leaders need to be masters of looking around corners, leading change, and modeling continuous learning.

Leading Strategically Requires Specific Skills

For an organization to keep performing at a high level, you need leaders who can think and act strategically. One way to assess strategic leadership readiness is to see if your leaders can consistently and confidently do four things well – especially when the stakes are high.

Read the 4 Skills that Set Strategic Leaders Apart


Tracy Esposito

Vice President of Human Resources Zynga

"I continue to be impressed by the level of leadership development expertise and the quality of advice that LSA has to offer.

What a smart and client-centric group of great people who really know how to help assess and develop high performing leaders."

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