Developing Strategic Management and Leadership Skills


Learning Outcomes and Assessment Feedback
Assignment Task 1 - Word Count/Limit: 900 words (+/- 10%)
This task address the three assessment criteria under Learning Outcome 1
The Task:
Making use of the Drotter pipeline, explain the link between management and leadership with specific reference to the difference between the two disciplines. From this description, provide an explanation of how management and leadership impact strategic decisions and show how leadership styles can be adapted to different situations in the workplace. Give practical example from your own workplace to illustrate your understanding of this Learning Outcome.The assessment criteria that need to be considered are:

[AC 1.1:  Explain the link between strategic management and leadership
AC 1.2: Analyse the impact of management and leadership styles on strategic decisions
AC 1.3: Evaluate how leadership styles can be adapted to different situations]
Assignment Task 2 - Word Count/Limit: 900 words (+/- 10%)
This task address the two assessment criteria under Learning Outcome 2

The Task:
Reflect on the impact that selected theories of management and leadership have on your organisational strategy and devise a leadership strategy that you believe will support your organisation’s direction. Apply the theories of management and leadership as we discussed it during the on-line sessions and give practical application thereof on your workplace based experience. Do not just repeat the theories, but explain the practical application thereof.
The assessment criteria that need to be considered are:
[AC 2.1: Review the impact that selected theories of management and leadership have on organisational strategy
AC 2.2: Create a leadership strategy that supports organisational direction]

Word Count/Limit: 900 words (+/- 10%)
This task address the two assessment criteria under Learning Outcome 3
The Task:
Building on the second task, you now need to use the appropriate methods, as we have discussed during the sessions, to review the current leadership requirements specific to your organisation’s direction, objectives and goals. Based on the shortcomings and organisational specific leadership and managerial needs, relative to its envisaged strategy, you need to construct a plan for the development of future leadership requirements in the organisation.
The assessment criteria that need to be considered are:
[AC 3.1 Use appropriate methods to review current leadership requirements
AC 3.2 Plan for the development of future situations requiring leadership]
Word Count/Limit: 900 words (+/- 10%)
This task address the two assessment criteria under Learning Outcome 4
The Task:
In conclusion of the assignment, reflect and report on how useful the methods are that you used in Task 3 to plan the development of leadership skills that is required for the specific strategic direction of your organisation.
The assessment criteria that need to be considered are:
[AC 4.1 Plan the development of leadership skills for a specific requirement
AC 4.2 Report on the usefulness of methods used to plan the development of leadership skills]


1.    Strategic Management and Leadership

Management refers to a sum total of well-defined processes such as planning, budgeting, structuring jobs, performance measurement, problem solving that together help the organizations achieve their goals and targets. In an organization, the complexities regarding size, products, services, quality and budget can become enormously difficult. Therefore, management helps to sort out these complexities. The leadership, on the other hand, is more associated with guiding the organization towards achieving goals and finding new opportunities and successfully exploiting the resources. The attributes of leadership are vision, empowerment, behavior, useful change, reliability and efficiency in an individual level(Westley and Mintzberg, 1989).

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However, despite the differences, both these termsleadership and management are intricately related to each other as leadership is a crucial part of effective management. The phenomenal leadership behavior focuses on creating an environment that allows everyone to grow and excel. So, to say it in other words, a manager is someone who must also show qualities of leader and he should be capable to build and sustain competitive advantage. In a nutshell, we can say that leadership if accompanied by the management is able to set new direction as well as makes efficient use of resources towards achieving the stated goals and targets(Alkhafaji, 2003).

The link between strategic management and leadership can best be understood with the help of Potter’s Pipeline Model. It has the following six passages:

  • 1)    Managing self to managing others: it essentially focuses on learning as to how time and priorities are managed on the individual level so that the employee would be able to solve problems and make decisions.

  • 2)    Managing others to managing managers: it includes selecting the right people for passage one and then assigning managerial and leadership work on them as well as measuring their progress in terms of mangers.

  • 3)    Managing managers to functional managers: it is characterized by two important transition skills that are team play with the functional managers and competition regarding resources related to business needs.

  • 4)    Functional manager to business manager: this passage requires a significant shift in the skills, time management and work values. The managers will now start integrating functions.

  • 5)    Business manager to group manager: at this level, there is more holistic approach as far as leadership is concerned. In this the complexities of running multiple businesses should be factored in.

  • 6)    Group manager to enterprise manager: in this transition there is more focus on values rather than skills. The leaders must be long-term and visionary thinkers.

2.    Impact of Management and Leadership Skills on Strategic Decisions

The strategic business management helps in creating a competitive advantage for any company by focusing on the identification of goals, challenges, necessary changes, strategies and changing market demands towards achieving the stated objectives. A leader can become a key player in attaining success in an organization. His responsibilities include handling major organizational activities such as planning, controlling, evaluating as well as motivating employees towards participating in decision making. A leader is someone who can positively influence employees to perform well, allow them to share their opinions and encourage them to contribute independently for the success of the business(Reid and Sanders, 2007).

Management is responsible for making plans and strategies and it has to focus on executing them based on the strategies. The leadership styles and management are both very important factors in impacting strategic decisions because of the fact that a proper leadership style helps profoundly while making a strategic decision. The lack of proper leadership skills in the event of making a strategic decisioncould lead to the failure of the decision. Taking the right decisions at the right time is the central element of successful leaders and there are certain situations when they have to make really difficult decisions.The present scenario of the markets not only requires to have a competitive edge with sustainable profits but also to maintain ethical standards that comply with the civic commitments. In order to develop and execute strategic organizational decisions, a leader needs to acquire, develop as well as deploy resources optimally that helps in bringing out quality products and services in the interest of stakeholders(Strategic management: Concepts and cases, 1996). Therefore, the profound impacts that the management and leadership styles have are – decentralized structure, collaboration with group members, empowerment, knowledge skills and positive changes.

3.    Adaptation of Leadership Styles

A successful management requires a dynamic and effective leadership as the behavior of leaders has the ability to influence the behavior of others. Different situations produce different outcomes, so, a successful leader should adapt his leadership style depending upon the requirements of the situations. Therefore, a combination of directive and supportive behaviors helps greatly. As a matter of fact, there is no foolproof leadership style that guarantees maximum productivity, satisfaction as well as growth regardless of any situation. The important element that a leader should take into account has to be the developmental level of each and every team member(Bush and Coleman, 2000). The crucial steps for the successful adaptation of leadership styles are – Directing and Coaching, Coaching and Supporting, and Supporting and Delegating.

Assignment Task 2

Assessment criteria

1.    Impact of Selected Theories of Management and Leadership

The two important theories of management and leadership that have a profound impact on organizational strategy are:

1)    Situational and Contingency theory of leadership: according to this theory, it is very important to analyze and synthesize workflows with an aim of enhancing labor productivity with higher output. Since, every individual is different than the other and so is his efficiency. So, the management has to apply certain strategies where the employees may work in terms of their strengths and together they can contribute towards achieving company’s objectives and goals(Brahm and Tarziján, 2013). The theory espouses that a leader’s effectiveness is best proved by the situational contingency that effectively combines his leadership style and situational favorableness. This theory allows a potential leader to assess his or her style of work and direct task orientation towards relationship orientation. The important factors like stress level of employees, different types of works, flexibility, technology utilization and coordination of resources are explored on the part of the leader and accordingly correct style of management practice is implemented. 

2)    Transformational theory of leadership: as per this theory, the transformational leaders are not just involved and concerned about the processes and their implementation, but are also dedicated towards supporting their employees so that they could succeed as well. Because of leaders being energetic and enthusiastic, the group members also become highly motivated and therefore have significant level morale for achieving their goals. The transformational leaders have a high degree of vision and the kind of personality that help them inspire their team members. Because of such values on the part of the leaders, the team members positively change their expectations and perceptionsfor achieving common goals of the organization(Hersey, Blanchard and Johnson, 1996). The word ‘transform’ itself indicates necessary change, so, the transformational approach is the indicative of bringing significant changes in the lives of both the company and its employees. Due to the impact of transformational leadership, the leaders receive trust, respect and admiration from their group members as he becomes successful in stimulating thee thinking of his subordinates for paying attention on customers’ needs. Such leaders encourage their team members to become creative and provide them a space where they could explore new ways doing things.

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2.    Creating a leadership strategy that supports organizational direction

The leadership strategies help the organizations in identifying number of leaders required, the types of skills needed and their effectiveness for the organizations. The goals and implementation of strategies are always needed to be analyzed so that the gap between the present scenario and the desired output should be narrowed down. 
The following layout describes a leadership strategy that is meant to be deployed for supporting organizational direction.

Key Drivers    Their Implications
Going Global    •    Leaders are required to be more responsive and respectful towards culture.
•    They are required to build cross-cultural relationship.
•    Knowledge of local laws and business regulations.
•    Leaders should provide effective collaboration among different departments.

Acquiring Innovation    •    Leaders are needed to be more involved across all the departments.
•    Capital anticipation should be factored in.
•    They should allow a necessary change in the culture for innovation.
•    Implementation of innovative processes that could be transformed into business practices. 

Customer-centric Focus    •    Leaders should fully understand customers’ needs.
•    A strong link to be created between the performance and customer satisfaction.
•    A culture of customer care id needed to be put in place. 

Investment in Growth Opportunities    •    The leaders are needed to develop a mechanism of efficiency that should result into rapid growth.
•    The capable leaders should be developed at every level who could contribute towards fulfillment of organizational goals.
Improving Operating Efficiency    •    Introduction of new methods that could adapt the costs in the line with other competitors.
•    Creating a culture of continuous development as well as improvement.

The above table reflects the application of both situational and contingency theory and transformational leadership theory that try to improve the customer service with innovative business strategies. Changes in the management and leadership skills with the help of communication from top management level to the lower management. Also, in order to achieve organizational goals, there have been drastic changes taken place because of the fact that conflict of interests have hit the employee efficiency and therefore poor customer satisfaction.The application of these theories have allowed the team members to have a better understanding the positions of their managers, so they incorporate effective collaboration and communication towards achieving their shared goals. Another important element that these theories highlight is that the relationship between the managers and their subordinates or team members is getting stronger and so allows less and less resistance for one another. 

Assignment Task 3
Assessment criteria

1.    Use appropriate methods to review current leadership requirements

Trait theory of Leadership: this particular theory of leadership is attributed to the elementary characteristics of a variety of leaders both successful as well as unsuccessful. So, this theory attempts to predict the effectiveness of the leadership and the outcome in the form of lists of traits are then compared to the ones who are the potential leaders in order to analyze whether there is a likelihood of success or failure(Morrison, 1998). Successful leaders always display high level of trustworthiness, abilities as well as better qualities of personality traits and are completely opposite from that of less efficient and effective people. For the analysis of leadership qualities, the trait theory is advantageous for the following reasons:

  • It helps in providing a detailed knowledge and understanding with regards to the organization’s achievements of objectives and goals.

  • It helps in serving a standard with which the leadership skills and traits of an individual could be assessed.

  • Trait theory can be applied effectively even if confusion arises whether there are optimum level of leadership skills possessed by an individual or not.

  • A lot of researchers have found the effectiveness and validity of this theory by applying it in different situations when it required the most.

For achieving success, an organization’s management requires skillful and talented leaders who encourage and drive their team members towards realization of the organizational goals. A good leadership entails envisaging the future environment of the organization for continuous growth. The quality leaders tend to initiate and bring ideas forward in the interest of the organization and the group members also greatly help the organization to become extremely competitive. Which is why in order to become a competent leader, communication skills, time management, decision making, innovation, planning, listening, coaching as well as motivating skills are the core requirements from their leaders(Manz and Sims, 1980).

The performance of employees is also highly dependent upon the culture and structure of the environment. So, a good leader is he who first strives towards transforming the culture with the help of initiating ideas     and moving the environment from a negative culture into a better one. This restructuring begins with setting a standard by showing his qualities and behavior so that the other employees will follow suit. If the leader is able to strike a personal communication to address personal issues with the employees in order to change the culture then it goes a long way in transforming the overall environment of the organization. At this point, the creativity and effectiveness of the leader comes into play as he adopts different leadership styles to address the difficulties that might aggravate in the future.

2.    Plan for the development of future situations requiring leadership

As we have been discussing through the passage of the report, to reiterate it once more, leadership is in the forefront in making strategies for the cooperation in order to sustain the competitive advantage. It is the leadership that develops organizational philosophy, which underlines the vision and mission of the organization. 
In today’s scenario, leaders are needed to be highly informed as well as extremely aware as to what is happening in the business world. So, if the companies have to compete better, it is pertinent for them to gain a competitive edge over their competitors’ business. Sometimes companies seek to merge or taking over other companies for the purpose of gaining more market shares. As we know that technology is getting advanced so very rapidly, which is why the leaders of both small as well as multinationals require to have a keen eye regarding the knowledge of new technologies coming up in the market(Berkley, 2007). 

One of the major challenges before the current leadership is the advancement in technology with a rapid pace. Today the concept of virtual or e-business is catching up very fast in which the businesses are effectively conducting through the internet and their employees are scattered in different parts of the world. Therefore, it is very vital for the leaders to understand the need for such situations and approaches. Therefore, for the longer run, leaders are needed to develop more and more effective interpersonal skills in order to encourage more and more employees regardless of their background.

Assignment Task 4
Assessment criteria

1.    Plan the development of leadership skills for a specific requirement

It is often said that leadership is the art of producing results that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It is ultimately about paving a way for the people to make full contribution towards producing something extraordinary. It is indeed a most vital area of any organization no matter what would its size be. In today’s highly competitive business environment, business should always their eyes in the future and devise plans accordingly. So, it is pertinent for the future leaders to develop necessary skill sets that would greatly help them lead their companies in the right direction. So, the leaders have various methods with which they can develop their skills:

  1. Formal learning: as we know the markets are galore and replete with the new products on the offer and keep getting introduced more frequently than are expected. So, the companies have to groom their employees and leaders in order to make them battle ready(Tang, 2005). It can all be done by introducing formal training in the workplace including seminars and real life scenarios.

  2. On the job training: it is one of the most effective methods with which personality of a leader is groomed and he becomes highly competitive by undergoing through that. The primary objective of the on the job training is to enhance the capabilities of the employees to make them fit for the corporate settings of the organizations.

  3. Organizational leadership: the organizations have the propensity to influence their employees in ways that other things cannot by providing them knowledge, information and skills. Organizations that are in a habit of promoting learning are more likely to continue to enjoy their success even in the future as well. So, for competing in the global business market, organizations have to empower their employees and managers in most effective ways.  

2.    Report on the usefulness of methods used to plan the development of leadership skills

We have understood the fact that in order to cope with the future challenges, the leader have to develop the relevant skill set according to the globalization and market demands. As mentioned previously, the methods so used for the purpose of development is to effectively improve the leadership skills on the part of the managers. So, we had the following methods that were useful for the development of the leadership skills:

  • Training: it is very elementary and impressive methods and most authentic method. Also, if the trainings are provided on the job then the employees learn much better way and they become important part of the organization. The training may encompass all kinds of methodologies with which the employees could be transformed into the leaders of tomorrow.

  • Experimental Learning: the experimental learning allows the employees to get engaged in critical thinking and problem solving activities. Such a method also creates opportunities for debriefing and consolidating of the ideas with the help of feedback. These ideas can be applied to the new challenging situations.

  • Self-learning: in this the leaders are provided with online training and study materials so that it could help them to keep up with the pace according to their own way also learn at their own pace. By following this method the employees do not run after the management. With this type of approach, the employees are provided a space where they could realize their own potential and could contribute for the organization in a long run(Lal, 2008).

  • Coaching and mentoring: both of these activities focus on the interpersonal skills of the individual that go a long way to enhance morale, motivation and productivity. The individuals of the organization feel valuable and connected. The role of coaching and mentoring can be provided by the internal leaders of the organization. 

  • Developing Retention Programs for Current and Future Leaders:in an organization, the rewards given to the employees can constitute a lot of meanings that can fulfill their monetary needs or motivation and encouragement or the awards could make them realize their real worth. The rewards also make sure that the employees are going to last in the organization.     


  • Alkhafaji, A. (2003). Strategic management. New York: Haworth Press.

  • Berkley, J. (2007). Leadership handbook of management and administration. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books.

  • Brahm, F. and Tarziján, J. (2013). Transactional hazards, institutional change, and capabilities: Integrating the theories of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 35(2), pp.224-245.

  • Bush, T. and Coleman, M. (2000). Leadership and strategic management in education. London: Paul Chapman.

  • Hersey, P., Blanchard, K. and Johnson, D. (1996). Management of organizational behavior. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice Hall.

  • Lal, H. (2008). Organizational excellence through total quality management. New Delhi: New Age International (P) Ltd., Publishers.

  • Manz, C. and Sims, H. (1980). Self-Management as a Substitute for Leadership: A Social Learning Theory Perspective. Academy of Management Review, 5(3), pp.361-368.

  • Morrison, K. (1998). Management theories for educational change. London: P. Chapman Pub.

  • Reid, R. and Sanders, N. (2007). Operations management. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley.

  • Strategic management: Concepts and cases. (1996). Long Range Planning, 29(6), pp.907-908.

  • Tang, S. (2005). Construction quality management. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

  • Westley, F. and Mintzberg, H. (1989). Visionary leadership and strategic management. Strat. Mgmt. J., 10(S1), pp.17-32.

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