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             29 November, 2020

Category:  Articles » Business » Team-Building


Leadership - A Vision

         Views: 1217
2006-08-22 19:23:39     
Article by CJ McClanahan

Does your company have a leadership problem?

Most people would answer “yes”, no matter how successful their company may be. In fact, this challenge is so huge that a quick search on the word “Leadership” (Amazon.com) returns more than 115,000 entries!

In case you don’t have the time to read 115,000 books, I have developed a list of the 13 key characteristics of all great leaders. I will address a new characteristic in each column.

The first (and arguably most important) characteristic is often the most difficult skill for leaders to develop. That is, the ability to paint a current picture of the future in the form of a powerful vision. The common quality in all great leadership stories is the ability to first create a vision and then be able to effectively share that vision with the people. It is from this beginning that so many success stories have evolved. It is in the absence of this beginning that so many businesses have failed.

Anybody can manage other people. But, few managers can develop a meaningful vision that really gets the most out of a team. Bestselling author Harry Beckwith puts it best by saying:

“Few Americans yearn to be managed; most talented people despise the very idea. You do not manage people. You create a business that they care so much about that they don’t require management; create goals so compelling that your employees manage themselves to achieve them.”

So, how do you create a vision that inspires people to manage themselves?

First, you must develop a clear understanding of the things that truly inspire you and your team. This is typically the most difficult task in developing a powerful vision. In addition, it will vary depending on the personalities involved and the product or service offered.

For example, if you are the Executive Director of a homeless shelter you can probably develop a fairly meaningful vision during your next coffee break. But, what if you sell office supplies? In this situation, a great leader will guide his team through the process of creating a powerful vision by forcing them to think creatively and outside the box (please pardon the overused phrase). His questions might include:

• What can we offer the market that is completely different from everyone else?

• In 5 years, the IBJ is writing a story about us, the biggest success story in central IN – what do they say?

• We have a stack of 50 resumes for every open position – Why?

Once you understand what drives you and your team, you must then create a vision that can be easily stated or summarized in one simple thought (or sentence). A three paragraph vision, covering numerous topics will not work, regardless of how well it is written. It might look great on your web site, but it will not energize your company.

The final step is to always lead your company according to your vision. This means that every prospect you pursue, every person you hire, and every management decision you make must all support your vision. For example, if the vision for your company is “The best quality in town” you had better not choose an inferior product (or person) even if it means more profit.

Becoming a great leader isn’t easy. But, if you start with a powerful vision, you can create an amazing environment where leading your team is a lot easier and more fun!

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