The Applied Strategic Leadership Process: Setting Direction in a VUCA World




Strategy, Leadership, Values, Leading Change, Leader Development


Strategic leadership frameworks have become more complex in response to our increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) world. While comprehensive strategic approaches may help leaders of large bureaucratic organizations exercise control over their staff and resources, these approaches may not be optimal for all organizations and contexts. Given the acceleration of environmental volatility, complexity, and competition, we offer leader developers and aspiring strategic leaders the Applied Strategic Leadership Process (ASLP), a focused and simplified strategic leadership approach that integrates relevant scholarship and practical tools to better enable the success of strategic leaders across cultures, situations, and leadership styles. The ASLP is organized with the themes of strategic judgment, strategic influence, and strategic resilience. Strategic judgment includes assessing the external environment, assessing the internal environment, and setting strategic direction by choosing the optimal big ideas. Strategic influence includes leading the organizational change needed to accomplish the big ideas. Strategic resilience includes developing its leaders’ strategic competencies, character, and wellness while attracting and building a pipeline of junior leaders. We conclude by sharing the 10 strategic leader competencies that several modern-day senior leaders believe will be the most important to leading successfully in the future.


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How to Cite

Spain, E., & Woodruff, T. (2022). The Applied Strategic Leadership Process: Setting Direction in a VUCA World. Journal of Character and Leadership Development, 10(1), 47–57.

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