Discuss the importance of strategic leadership.

Chapter 19 discusses strategic management and several new views/theories of the firm. One of these theories discusses the importance of strategic leadership. Hambrick was one of the first researchers to put forth the idea that an organization is a “reflection of its top managers”. This indicates the ability of a chief executive (and his/her top management group, known as the managerial elite or upper echelons) to establish the firm’s character, decisions, and direction. Hambrick and his coauthor, Mason, wrote a seminal article in 1984 which discusses the traits of leaders and their influence on decision making for the business. It is an important theory that is still discussed today in relation to the impact of top leaders on their firm’s performance. 1. Take a look at the attached article.View Figure 2 on page 198. Then read pages 198-203 (the Development of Propositions section). You do not have to understand all of the propositions or hypotheses in each section, only read until you have a general understanding of each trait as it would impact the leader’s decision making. 2. Then, think of a leader you know, have personal experience with, OR you can research one. Maybe this leader is YOU! Dissect this individual’s traits as laid out in Hambrick and Mason’s model. Make some arguments as to how those traits impacted their decision making and the subsequent performance of the firm. Discuss at least four specific traits. 3. Create a short PowerPoint with a trait on each slide. Give a brief introduction that describes the leader (you can certainly leave out names) and a brief conclusion that indicates how you feel that their decisions were related to the business’ perfomance. You can either talk about the organization’s performance overall or specific to a certain project. Keep in mind, these are your own perceptions – there are rarely right or wrong answers if you defend them well!

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