During the last 20 years, the field of strategic leadership has undergone both a rejuvenation and a metamorphosis. We argue that the essence of strategic leadership involves the capacity to learn, the capacity to change, and managerial wisdom. Against this backdrop, we first review issues related to under what conditions, when, and how strategic leadership matters. Next, we selectively review three streams of theory and research. The first is strategic leadership theory and its antecedent, Upper Echelon theory. The second stream of theory and research focuses on what Bryman has labeled the "new" leadership theories. These include charismatic, transformational, and visionary theories of leadership. The last stream of research we classify as the "emergent" theories of leadership. Among these are theories that explore behavioral and cognitive complexity as well as social intelligence. Finally, we attempt to suggest how the "new" and "emergent" theories can be integrated within what we claim is the essence of strategic leadership.