Strategic Leadership in Military and Business

Leadership is the ability of a person to influence an individual or a team of people, encourage them to unite, and direct joint efforts to solve production problems. It describes relations based on trust, a sincere desire to support in all matters, recognition at all levels and a willingness to experience various situations (Achua and Lussier 418). In the time of change, a leader should always have a strategy to move their company forwards. It is vital to analyze different approaches to strategic leadership and recognize its importance in the modern business world.

Broadly speaking, strategic leadership presumes the ability to impact individuals or groups, directing their efforts to achieve the company’s strategic goals. In his TED talk, Jim Hemerling suggests that a strategic leader needs to have a clear vision and be directive (Hemerling). In other words, a head of the organization should create a plan and only then hold people accountable for the results. Apart from being directive, it is vital to be inclusive, which means putting people first, listening to their ideas, and collaborating with all employees who can contribute to the decision-making process.

The other approach is suggested by David Petraeus, who highlights the four main tasks of a strategic leader. According to Petraeus, one must get their ideas right, communicate them effectively, forecast their implementation, and determine how to refine the process in order to achieve more significant results (David Petraeus). This approach differs from the previous one in a way that it does not concentrate on people but instead focuses on the rigor of the ideas.

Lars Sudmann suggests the formula of leadership problem: TLT plus people plus power. TLT stands for too little time, meaning that leaders run around a place not knowing what to do even though they lack time. The next element in this formula represents people who are the key stakeholders in business communication. Finally, the last component demonstrated that one has more power over others. However, this formula is about the leadership problem and not about its effectiveness.

Therefore, Sudmann came up with the idea that self-leadership is a foundation for managing people successfully (Great Leadership). It presumes that one must have self-control, self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-regulation in order to lead others (Great Leadership). This approach is drastically different from the previous ones since it focuses more on the leader’s qualities.

All speakers discuss the importance of strategic leadership because it brings many advantages in times of ongoing changes. When the organization needs transformation, there should be an individual who will come up with a genius thought about changing the direction (Hemerling). Not every single person is ready to adapt to a new environment; therefore, one may mitigate this process by setting a clear vision for the future. Petraeus claims that people never know when bad times occur (David Petraeus).

Nonetheless, they should be ready to accept changes regardless of the degree of their unpredictability. They need the guidance of a leader who will set the tone and guide them, bringing new ideas to life and improving them for the common good (Belfer Center). Sudmann contemplates reviewing the problems of leadership in order to create a better approach to leading people (Great Leadership). In general, strategic leadership is valued because it allows individuals to adapt to changes and follow a specific plan.

Power is a significant component in terms of leadership formula. Hemerling concludes that if an organization undergoes transformation, it needs a leader who would empower others (Hemerling). It means there is a certain amount of power and authority one must own in order to instill a sense of purpose in others. Nevertheless, leadership is also about admitting one’s mistakes, apologizing, and mitigating the consequences. It presumes that an influential leader should give directions and be responsible for the actions and outcomes. Sudmanns states that the higher status one has, the more power one obtains (Great Leadership). However, this is not a worthy strategy to stick by since it imposes fear on the subordinates and limits their creativity.

In the military, strategic leadership presupposes that army general officers manage those in subordinate positions who affect the decision-making process. It is not far from strategic leadership in business-making because the latter has the same model of behavior (David Petraeus). The manager or CEO is in charge of influencing people as well as empowering them to participate in the discussion and offer ideas. They are identical in almost every way because they promote a clear vision with a plan of action for the future.

In summary, the strategic leader defines the vision of the future, the direction, the prerequisites for growth, and the context of the corporation’s success. They initiate and encourage non-standard thinking, entrepreneurial creativity, and radical innovations to create conditions for future growth. Different approaches give various understanding of strategic leadership; however, they have a sole foundation – a vision for the future. An influential leader is the one who can impact people and be responsible for their actions.

Works Cited

Achua, Christopher, and Robert Lussier. Leadership: Theory, Application, & Skill Development. Cengage Learning, 2016.

David Petraeus: Four Tasks of a Strategic Leader”. YouTube, uploaded by Belfer Center. 2016. Web.

Great Leadership Starts with Self-Leadership | Lars Sudmann | TEDxUCLouvain”. YouTube, uploaded by TEDx & Talks. 2016. Web.

Hemerling, Jim. “5 Ways to Lead in an Era of Constant Change”. TED, 2016. Web.

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