To successfully reach the wanted position, leaders need to take a system approach when it comes to defining and implementing the strategic direction. Direction, learning and implementation are dimensions that constitute the system of a strategic direction. In order to develop and secure quality in these dimensions, leaders need to have a system view and base their leadership capabilities on the challenges in such a system. Hence, system-based leadership.

Low quality in these dimensions lead to lack of clarity in the path towards the wanted position, lack of essential learning for making successful progress along the strategic direction and lack of focused execution. The key challenges for system-based leadership are to:

For quality of direction:
• Predict and assess continuity or discontinuity
• Identify and make strategic decisions
• Lead to motivate and engage people for the chosen direction

For quality of learning:
• Secure systematic learning and integration of knowledge
• Utilise the organisation´s collective intelligence
• Lead to encourage learning and development

For quality of implementation:
• Make the strategic direction operational
• Balance management by objectives with management by values
• Lead to ensure involvement and experimentation.

Being able to generate a common purpose and a unified and energetic behaviour are fundamental for overcoming the challenges in each dimension. Leadership is about compassion and a deep understanding of the environment in which the organisation must compete and win. Thus, to secure the quality of direction, learning and implementation, leadership capabilities in each dimension are crucial to succeed when leading the organisation to its wanted position.

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