Drastic changes have been experienced in the contemporary business world. The highly saturated markets of today require companies to transform their resources for attaining competitive advantage (Ladyshewsky, 2007). To get success in performing well in the markets, it is compulsory for the organizations to have effective leadership. Strategic leadership is a leadership style that provides vision as well as direction to the firm for its growth and success. This is concerned with the skills and tool required for formulation and implementation of strategy (Sarwar, 2013). The present report discusses the concept of strategic leadership with respect to Tesco. Strategy as well as strategic approach adopted by the organization has been discussed. An attempt has been made to understand the relationship between the strategic management and leadership. The leadership principles that support organizational values have been explained. Leadership strategies and their impact on organizational direction have been understood.
Managers are effective leaders as they inspire and motivate the people around them. Fulfilling the responsibility of planning and providing direction to the work of a group of individuals, managers monitor and take corrective actions where necessary (Mussig, 2003). Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, is well known for his participative style of leadership. He continuously worked to empower his subordinates to make them competent. It is the leadership skills of Gates that made Microsoft as well as its brand Windows to excel amidst the serious competition. Having a firm belief in the power of innovation, Gates laid emphasis on empowering his subordinates. This made them competent to bring about innovations in products, processes, markets and other areas. Performing the work of managing the company, Gates positioned the company as a platform that helps people to build their skills (Meaklim and Sims, 2011). Reflecting on the case, managers are successful if they follow the appropriate leadership style and characteristics. Leadership is the art or process with the help of which people are influenced so that they are willing to perform the tasks in an efficient and effective manner.
While considering the case, a manager has to perform a variety of functions. There are varied demands on the manager that need to be fulfilled by him for taking the organization forward (Pardey, 2007). With rising competition, the managers of Tesco have to work towards fulfilling a number of demands that senior officials and organization as a whole makes to them. They have to hire employees and work to make them competent and productive. Strategies have to be formulated for staying ahead of the competitors. These strategies require efficient teams which should be headed by managers who are also effective leaders (Adams, 2012). There are a number of responsibilities assigned to the manager of Tesco which him accountable for some of the most crucial aspects and decisions of the organization. These demands and responsibilities, related to driving the company forward, promote the engagement of leadership challenges and characteristics that managers learn to demonstrate. While incorporating the various leadership styles in their work and management, managers become effective leaders. Managers are the people who have been endowed with authority. While considering the leadership in organized settings, it has been found that people who have authority are leaders (Emiliani, 2008). It is for this reason, managers within an organization can be considered as leaders.
However, for becoming effective leaders, managers have to overcome certain challenges that restrain them from demonstrating good leadership. Managers often too focused on operational and tactical issues often fail to become good leaders. Lack of a clearly defined path also acts as an obstruction in the managers becoming effective leaders. For overcoming the challenges, managers of Tesco must bring the change that they wish to see in others (Abiodun, 2010). As per the scientific theory of management, components of manual tasks can be broken down by timing each movement, so that the best proven way of performing each task could be found out. Considering managers, this theory requires them to develop science for each operation and replace the rule of thumb (Reed, Cohen and Colwell, 2011). This theory enabled accurate measurement of the tasks and procedures. However, the planning and control of workplace rests exclusively in the hands of managers. Hence, this theory does not make the managers effective leaders as worker participation and their development is not encouraged. As against this, behavior management theory is based on the notion that the human aspect to workers will be better understood by the managers (Kadian-Baumeyer, 2013). As per this theory, the employees will be considered as important assets by the managers to the success of the company. This theory worked to make managers good leaders as it shifted their belief that workers were like machines.
Leadership and management are two different concepts. As per Craig Hickman, managers use power and logic of rational mind while leaders combine the power of intuition and logic of the heart. While managers consider the dangers, leaders sense opportunities (Adair, 2011). Managers are involved in controlling the employees while leaders inspire them. Hence, to become a good manager, leaders have to learn to work in an analytical, structured and controlled manner. Strategic leadership faces several challenges in the organizations such as Tesco. The world is experiencing a shift from individual to collective focus. Hence, the organizational definition of leadership needs to be broadened. Leaders are required to influence the followers towards shared goals for building collective capacity (Bertocci, 2009). Strategic leadership has to face the challenge of ensuring that business priorities are reflected into leadership priorities. Strategic leadership practices will have to be required to change things in the organization. These challenges can be combined with the management concepts for making leaders effective managers. Systems theory will enable the leaders to understand the impact of different systems on a worker and vice versa (Hawthorne, 2014). This will make them effective managers by enabling them to coordinate programs for working in a collective manner towards achieving the goals of Tesco. Chaos theory is another management concept with the help of which leaders will be able to understand that change is constant. The system of an organization such Tesco continues to evolve and change owing to the growing level of complexity.
Considering the differences that exist between the concept of leadership and management, there can be several potential risks to strategic vision of Tesco. The company operates with the vision of providing best quality goods to the customers (Fairholm, 2004). This can be done if the operations are run in a smooth manner with employment of correct leadership and management style. Various strategies that organization formulates to thrive in the industry in the future need to be formed and implemented with the bright blend of effective leadership and management (Kamisan and King, 2013).
The strategic management and demands of strategic leadership need to be balanced at Tesco. Strategic management incorporates in itself the ability of reforming problems by bridges and alliances. The managers have to act globally thereby being socially responsible. Strategic leadership requires the leaders to develop a strong understanding of the complex relationship that exists between the organization and environment prevailing within it (Pardey, 2007). Being strategic leaders entails taking a broad view. Right people are to be involved with important information and perspectives. It requires a person to facilitate conversation and ask probing question. It is by following this approach that strategic leaders identify connections, patterns and key issues. Strategic management demands that efforts must be directed towards overall goals and objectives of Tesco. In this regard, that must be done which is best for the total organization. Strategic management required multiple stakeholders to be included in the decision making process of the organization. Hence, care has to be takes to incorporate the demands of all the stakeholders while making decisions. As such, Tesco will have to take care that the needs of multiple stakeholders are met (What is Strategic Management?, 2014). Another demand of strategic management is that it requires incorporation of both the short as well as long term perspectives (Cloud, 2010). This is creative tension for the manger they are required to maintain a vision for the future of Tesco thereby focusing on its present operating needs.
Strategic management requires the managers to identify tradeoffs between efficiency and effectiveness. As such, the managers of Tesco need to be aware of the requirements of the organization to make efforts to act efficiently and effectively. This is concerned with creating a balance between doing the right things and doing things the right way (Buckingham, 2006). However, these demands of strategic management have to be balanced with the demands of strategic leadership. As per strategic leadership practice, a leader is demanded of being the designer of a perfect strategy by interpreting the market as well as its needs. Following this, he is required to align those needs with the core purpose, strengths and competencies of the organization as well its workforce (Nohria, Mayo and Singleton, 2007). Strategic leadership requires the formulated strategy to be owned by capable people throughout the organization. A strategic leader has to provide direction to the strategy and should act as mentor and coach. Apart from that, strategic leadership demands a leader to take care that his team members are comfortable (Beatty, 2010). He is also entailed to ensure that they are competent to successfully accomplish the strategic task in hand. Hence, strategic leadership and strategic management need to be balanced at Tesco. It is only then that the challenges which both these concepts present for Tesco could be overcome.