Summary of How to Become a Strategic Leader

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Whether a manager is new or experienced, growing in the role means becoming more strategic. But often, the exact meaning of “strategic” remains unclear. For Julie Zhou, it meant falling into the trap of working hard – and confusing intensity with leading strategically. Now the Facebook vice president for product design, Zhou describes the difference in a brief but enlightening article for the MIT Sloan Management Review. Rookies will learn three keys to leading strategically, and seasoned managers will appreciate the reminders.

About the Author

Julie Zuo is product design vice president at Facebook and author of The Making of a Manager.



Strategic leadership means more than goal setting, engaging in high-level discussions and working hard.

Managers don’t necessarily know what it means to be strategic. Activities such as setting goals, working hard, motivating colleagues, and creating documents or frameworks all can contribute to enacting a strategy, but these don’t by themselves add up to strategic leadership. Leaders need to understand the components of strategy if they want to develop strategic leadership.

Strategic leadership consists of designing actions to overcome problems and...

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