Great leaders in every field of endeavor are visionaries and strategists. They must be able to choose the goals they and their organizations will pursue, and then design strategies capable of attaining them.
Leaders are responsible for defining what victory means, focusing the intention of the organization on it and shepherding their followers in the quiest to attain it.
The definition of victory is the first determinate of strategy.
All organizations are part of a larger environment – a market, an economy or a military theater. The organization’s capability to operate within that environment is a primary element in its success. Leaders are responsible for understanding and maximizing that capability.
Surprise is a highly effective weapon in the strategic arsenal and can be a decisive factor in the success of orgnizational plans. It can confound competitors, undermine their defenses and relegate them to playing catch-up. It can also delight customers, win their loyalty and build market share. Smart strategists incorporate the element of surprise in their plans.
In business, it is futile to fight for an expanded market share for goods and services you cannot produce or deliver. Leaders in all tyes of organizations must consider and ensure adequate supply and support to achieve their objectives.
MacArthur exhibited an extraordinary ability to inspire his followers. He combined command authority, charismatic image and a paternal humanity into a highly effective leadership persona.
Great leaders live up to their words and offer an example that their follower can emulate because, as MacArthur said, “Soldiers of an army invariably reflect the attitude of their general.”
MacArthur was also skilled at managing up. He ahad an enviable ability to persuade his superiors – from U.S. presidents to the Congress to the Joint Chiefs of Staff – to adopt policies and approve strategic and budgetary plans with which they intially disagreed.
Leaders provide the encouragement and impetus that the innovative spirit needs to thrive.