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Case Analysis—Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills

Case Analysis—Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills

Case Analysis—Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills

The Harvard Business Review journal article “Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills” identifies critical skills needed for successful leadership. I chose this article because it shows that leadership is not something that can be developed solely in a classroom setting, rather, requires supplemental practice and hands-on experience. The author, Paul

J.H. Schoemaker, Steve Krupp, and Samantha Howland pinpoint six essential skills developed from research involving more than 20,000 executives. The purpose of the article is to provide an in-depth analysis of each skill and supplement the information with real examples of the skills in action. When the six skills, the ability to anticipate, challenge, interpret, decide, align, and learn, is understood and used in unison leaders will be able to think strategically and prepare for the unknown.

Each leadership skill examined in the article is separated into different headings and further evaluated, but they are all intertwined. The first skill, anticipation, details the ability to pick up signals and warning both inside and outside of an organization, plan for the future, and be more alert to opportunities outside the core business. The consequences can be severe if this skill is overlooked and a business could miss a valuable opportunity. The next skill, the ability to challenge, encourages diversity and other employees’ points of view. Allowing an opposing point of view can result in a new and unconventional idea or solution. This is described in the scenario of Bob, the division president of an energy company.

However, being open to opposing views requires the ability to interpret conflicting information, which is the third essential skill. Being able to differentiate the ideas being presented is key to success. Once the information is interpreted, a leader must make a decision, which is the fourth skill. Sometimes decisions need to be made quickly without all the information needed and a leader must be able to execute. Once a decision is made a leader must make sure his ideas or solutions are aligned and conveyed to all his employees. This is important to the operations and success of a business. Finally, being able to reflect and learn from any successful or unsuccessful experience enhances the learning experience and can provide hidden lessons.

The article does an excellent job of providing advice and recommendations for improving these leadership skills. For example, the authors provide a list of guidelines at the end of each section that can be used to improve each specific skill. Additionally, by providing real-life examples of each skill being put to use the readers are able to further understand how they might implement these skills into their everyday work operations. Furthermore, the piece includes a leadership assessment at the end of the article designed to inform readers which skill they need to improve on.

I was able to gain further insight into successful leadership by reading this article. The main thing I learned was my lack of anticipation, which is a skill I thought I was good at. However, after completing the self-assessment I realized I have work to do. The tips provided in the article will help me further my development in this area of leadership.

Another insight I learned was the importance of alignment, or being able to use communication to convey vision and goals within an organization and gain support. Alienating employees instead of working to convey a clearer message can have negative results within any organization. Lastly, I was able to gain a better understanding of the decision-making process after reading this article. Overall, identifying weaknesses and implementing these six skills will help further the success of strategic leadership.


Schoemaker, P.J., Krupp, S., & Howland, S. (2013). Strategic leadership: The essential skills. Harvard Business Review, 91(1/2), 131-134.


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Read this Article and then complete the case study.

Case Analysis—Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills

Case Analysis—Strategic Leadership: The Essential Skills

Consult the Case Study Guidelines and the Case Analysis rubric attached to this page to ensure you meet the assignment requirements. Requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Be a minimum of 1000 words.
    • Note: Do not include abstracts, bullets, headings, subheadings, cover and reference pages, and charts and graphs in your word count.
  • Follow the latest version of the APA Publication Manual.
  • Be in a Word document format, double-spaced, and use a 10- or 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font. The page margins on the top, bottom, left, and right should be 1 inch each.
  • Be supported by multiple references cited in the latest version of APA style. Justify your analysis by including in-text citations and your references as applicable. Use the following resources to properly cite your work:
  • Is checked for spelling and grammatical errors.


A case study is a short description of a real-life situation. Analyzing business case studies gives you the opportunity to apply those concepts to real business problems. Cases are generally written for several types of analysis. Usually, there is no “right” or “wrong” answer. Rather, cases provide a vehicle for you to demonstrate your understanding and your ability to apply course concepts. You must use appropriate sources (properly cited) to support your work.

Check your analysis by assessing how well it demonstrates your leadership management knowledge. If your answer relies on your impressions of leadership management prior to taking this course, it is likely that the analysis is not your best effort.

Format for Submissions

Use the case study rubric as a guide.

Remember, this is an ANALYSIS of the case and not a SUMMARY of the case.

Summary vs Analysis: A summary will discuss the contents similar to a book report. An analysis will read the case in depth and then think about the main issues that were discussed.

Writers use summaries to describe the source they are using, as opposed to evaluating or commenting on it. Summary often precedes analysis and helps prepare the reader for the writer’s ideas about the source.

Unlike the summary, the analysis relies on the observations, ideas, evaluations, and inferences of the writer (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.). An analysis is more in-depth and uses a higher level of cognitive thinking — critical thinking.

You will prepare and submit a number of short papers on a case study posed by the instructor. These papers are an opportunity for you to respond to an issue drawn from the module. You must support your position using appropriate sources that are properly cited including course resources and additional credible resources.

You must follow the format and guidelines, given below, for the short papers:

Title Page: Include name, paper title, the course title, instructor’s name, and date.

Introduction: The first paragraph is used as the introduction but is not labeled as the introduction – the APA writing style assumes the first paragraph will be the background and overview. Discuss the purpose of the paper in succinct, declarative sentences. The introduction should offer a preview of the paper, and its value, and be based on the concepts studied in the course.

Discussion Content: This section should include the following three elements:

· A brief examination of the issue, concept, or consequences of the actions taken,

· An explanation of the concepts or theoretical applications that pertain to this topic,

It is required that you make use of appropriate headings to guide your reader.

Conclusion: This should be a summative paragraph that includes a restatement of the key points in your discussion.

References: A minimum of two references (not including your textbook) must be used to support your discussion. Document all sources according to APA style.

Your case analyses should meet the following formatting criteria:

·  Be submitted in a Word doc format (.doc or .docx).

·  Be no less than 1000 words in length.

·  Be double-spaced.

·  Use 10- or 12-point Arial or Times New Roman font.

·  Have 1-inch margins on the top, bottom, left side, and right side.

·  Adhere to the current version of APA style guidelines.

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