How you lead is just as important as what you’re doing.
That underlying belief can make the difference between success and failure in a complex, changing world.
CEOs who understand the importance of a leadership strategy are explicit about the kind of leadership they need in order to achieve their organization’s business strategy. And to set their leadership strategy , they first examine the key leadership drivers of the business to understand the implications for leadership .
What Are Your Key Leadership Drivers?
Key leadership drivers are the things that make your business strategy unique .
Key drivers are not in themselves detailed strategies; instead, they’re the key decisions leaders are making about what the organization must do. Leadership drivers help you understand what’s absolutely essential for your organization to accomplish.
What key choices are you making about how to position the organization?
For example, in some markets, like the restaurant industry, making certain that customers are satisfied may be chosen as a key driver of success.
Another example: In some industries, like utilities, a key leadership driver might be finding long-term sources of competitively priced raw materials to turn into electric power. Low-priced raw materials isn’t a complete business strategy. Instead, it drives the formulation of detailed business strategies. The utility company must develop strategies for securing low-cost raw materials.
How to Determine Your Organization’s Key Leadership Drivers
Key leadership drivers can be identified by examining each business strategy or initiative and asking a few fundamental questions, such as:
- Is this an organizational capability that’s absolutely vital?
- Could something else be more essential in causing the vision/mission to happen?
- What’s most important to competitive success and mission completion?
- Is this something that our organization is positioned to do better than our competitors?
- Will doing this well translate directly into continued or future success?
- Would not doing this well cause our organization to fail?
Once you’ve answered these questions, use them to create a strong leadership strategy that takes all of these factors into account. Simply having all of the leadership positions on the organizational chart filled or hiring talented individuals will not produce the leadership that is required to implement strategy, lead change, and drive innovation.
Being explicit about what your organization’s leadership drivers are, and knowing how they connect to your organization’s leadership strategy, is what separates the successful organizations from the merely mediocre.
So, what’s your company’s key leadership driver? Is your leadership strategy bringing that key driver to life?
Ready to Take the Next Step?
We can partner with your organization to help you understand your leadership drivers and create a strong leadership strategy. We can help you align your leadership strategy to culture and business strategy to overcome your current challenges and maximize your ability to thrive – now and into the future.