The Strategic Plan – A Tool for Both the Leader and the Manager

In a prior blog, Harvest Management Advisors discussed the balance an effective dairy farm management person must find between being a leader and being a business manager.  Pure leaders, who lack managerial tools and techniques, are not effective in creating viable, successful, and sustainable businesses.  In addition, managers, who cannot clearly articulate the business’ strategic intent, are also not very effective.

There is one tool that can help a business manager accentuate both their leadership ability as well as their managerial capability.  That tool is the organization’s strategic plan.  A strategic plan provides the means for a person to find balance between being a leader and being a manager.

The reason for this tool’s effectiveness in creating leadership and managerial balance are found in the different components of the plan.  A leader influences people and does so in a manner that results in people choosing to follow the leader.  People tend to follow when that leader clearly can state the vision and mission of the organization in such a manner that it resonates with those listening.  In addition, they are more likely to follow when the leader can articulate in an authentic way that these are our values and nothing else will be tolerated.  If those values are shared by the “followers”, people are apt to follow that person, especially if the objectives being advocated make sense to the potential follower.

These initial elements – vision, mission, core values, and objectives – are the first four elements of a strategic plan.  They provide the strategic intent of the organization.  The strategic intent of a business is the realm of leadership.

The strategic plan also provides a person a managerial tool to heighten their effectiveness as manager.  People need to know the following things:

  • what we are attempting achieved and why.
  • how success will be measured
  • what the plan is for achieving our objectives
  • what everyone’s role are in this this plan
  • what resources will be brought to bear to achieve the objectives
  • what the timeline is
  • what accountabilities exist
  • what the mutual benefit of achievement will be.

These above items are fundamental for creating organizational alignment so that the organization is both effective and efficient in achievement of its strategic objectives.  With these things in place, managers can monitor tactic implementation, evaluate it, and adjust how things are being done or how resources are allocated to ensure that objectives are achieved successfully.  This is the territory of the business manager.

So, as you think about how develop both the leadership and managerial skills of a business manager, consider using the strategic plan methodology to develop, to accentuate both the leadership and managerial effectiveness of your people, and as a way for your people to find balance between being a leader and acting as a manager.

For assistance creating and implementing your strategic plan, call Harvest Management Advisors today.

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