What is Leadership? Strategic vs. Operational | ASQ

What is Leadership?

Leadership and Management on ASQTV™

Perhaps nothing has as much impact on an organization as how well it’s led.

Leadership is not solely the responsibility of those who reside at the higher levels of the hierarchy. Instead, it’s an activity in which anyone who’s interested in the success of an organization can take part.

Strategic leadership involves:

  • Defining the overall vision and mission of an organization.
  • Developing strategies, systems and structures to achieve the vision and mission.
  • Creating both technical and social systems that are effectively integrated, and which address the needs of both customers and employees.

Operational leadership involves:

  • Ensuring that organizational processes are effectively carried out on a day-to-day basis.
  • Monitoring performance.
  • Addressing constraints.
  • Ensuring that employees understand what is to be done and are provided with the authority, knowledge and skills to do it.

The culture that results from how work is carried out shapes the way members of an organization relate to each other and to the outside world. The levels of employee motivation and empowerment, and how conflict is resolved, both shape — and are a measure of — organizational cultures. Leadership must effectively manage these issues because they also affect organizational performance.

Adapted from The Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence Handbook, page 13.  

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