A leader is one who leads, both in strategy and in execution. However, in the corporate world, somehow strategy is over-rated. A good strategist might not be a good executioner and vice versa. But, to be a good leader, you need to ace in both. Alright, if not ace, at least strive to ace in both.
Strategy is important to ensure game changing tactics that will turn things in your favor or in the direction you desire. But, a well laid out strategy just doesn’t win the game. The application of that strategy and its perfect execution becomes all the more important. Because, there are no results without execution. An idea or dream is not true until realized. It’s just that, an idea or a dream.
Execution, by itself can be a futile attempt, if the plan is not well thought and laid out. A good leader is one who understands the interdependency of strategy and execution, applies intellect to strategize and discipline to execute. A true leader is one who leads from the front in either area. Not someone, who plans but leaves the execution to others.
One clarification, I do want to make is that, a leader also has to trust and delegate. But, this is a learned trait and one that sharpens with experience. An aide, who the leader can depend on to perform to set expectations, is a great candidate to delegate to. This does not necessarily mean that the aide has to be a replica of the leader. Every person is unique. Different traits can be applied in different scenarios and that is where a leader’s acumen comes into play, to choose the right delegates for the right part of the job. There are those that may see this as a part of strategy itself. But, in order to make these decisions, a leader needs to have spent time leading execution as well, from the front. That is when, at a later time, the leader can afford to lead through delegation, yet have complete control over the execution.
Some may argue that in today’s world, a few things can be learnt from others’ experiences. Absolutely! But, execution and delegation, I do not think they come that easy. If you want to ensure that every time you lead, you come out a winner; the best experience is your very own.