“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going and what will guide your journey.”
- Ken Blanchard and Jesse Stoner
Who you are – is your purpose Where you’re going – is your picture of the future What will guide your journey – are your values The Three Elements of a Compelling Vision
Purpose is your organization’s reason for existence. Choose a significant purpose that’s not about you, but is about providing value to those who use your products or services. Consider your purpose from your customer’s viewpoint. For example, a window shade company might sell window shades but their purpose might be to light control and privacy. Picture of the future is a results-oriented picture of where you . . . → Read More: What is Vision?
Are you enthusiastic about your work? When you reflect on your day at work, do you feel a deep sense of satisfaction? Is the person you are at work the same as the person you are outside of work?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” it’s possible you might be caught in leadership drift. You might have heard about team drift, where teams lose their focus without realizing it. The same thing can happen to individuals.
You might be adrift without realizing it.
Why Leadership Drift Occurs A huge external shift
You might have been thrown off track initially because of something huge like a hurricane or a serious illness, and by the time the dust settled, you forgot . . . → Read More: 4 Ways Leadership Drift Can Catch You Unaware
Once upon a time, in a land called Industrial Age, the leaders of organizations resided at the top of a hierarchy, managers were in the middle, and workers were supervised.
It was the job of leaders to do the important thinking and the job of managers and supervisors to make sure it was implemented.
Because no one cared what the managers, supervisors and workers thought, many of them parked their brains at the door as they came to work.
Others only used part of their brains, limiting their focus to implementation without regard for the impact on the larger organization.
Eventually the companies became gunked up. They were not healthy places for people. and their long-term results did not reach their potential.
Because their life . . . → Read More: The 9 Essential Leadership Strategies in The Age of Information
If you are in a leadership role, chances are you believe it’s better to give than to receive.
Which means you also probably believe you should
… always be competent
… never make mistakes
… always be strong
and that you should only receive when you have something to give in return.
The problem with this attitude is that when you are in a situation where you don’t have a choice and must receive, you are likely to feel
We hear “it’s better to give than to receive” but the truth is:
It’s easier to give than to receive, but not always better.
Giving when people can help themselves takes away their power and opportunity to grow, and . . . → Read More: Strong Leaders Ask For Help
Springtime reminds me of fruit trees and the power of values-driven companies – or more accurately – the cost of NOT being one.
Small companies often think they don’t need to bother with things like mission and values – that those are things for large companies. Big mistake.
It’s why our tree service company lost our business.
They were very nice people, dependable and a good price. But they did not communicate guiding values to their employees, and one of them endangered my son’s health. That was a show-stopper.
Here’s what happened.
One lovely spring afternoon, one of the technicians stopped by unexpectedly to spray our fruit trees. The contact allowed them to come without calling first, which normally would not be a . . . → Read More: Small Companies Need Clear Values
According to Faulkner, Ginsberg and many great writers, if you are particularly proud of a piece of writing, chances are it’s self-indulgent, stands out, and does not serve the greater good of your work.
The saying goes: “you must kill your darlings” – delete them. The overall intent of your work is more important than a particular piece that doesn’t fit, no matter how special you think it is.
So what does that have to do with business?
In today’s world, leaders are under great pressure to find new opportunities for growth. Ventures into new territories, product, channels of distribution, etc. are typically evaluated by short-term profitability and not strategic alignment.
These “darlings” become the focal point, rather than a coherent organizational vision, . . . → Read More: To Be a Better Leader You Must Kill Your Darlings
Think you can lead without a vision? Think again. Leadership is about going somewhere. How do you know where you’re going if you don’t have a vision?
Vision makes work meaningful. Vision helps us feel connected to something larger than ourselves. A shared vision helps us feel connected with others because we trust we share the same goals and values.
An organization without a clear vision is like a river without banks—it stagnates and goes nowhere.
A leader without a vision to serve is in danger of becoming self-serving.
Does your vision sound something like this? – Our vision is to provide aggressive strategic marketing with quality products and services at competitive prices to provide the best value for consumers.
Bad news. You have a blah, blah, blah vision. Do yourself and everyone on your team a favor – take it down.
You have two choices. You can decide you don’t need a vision and get on with your work.
Or… you can engage with your team in creating a DRIVING vision – one that lives in the hearts and minds of everyone and naturally drives behavior and decisions.
A DRIVING vision is a clearly-articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.
When it is shared, . . . → Read More: Do You Have a Blah, Blah, Blah Vision or a DRIVING Vision?
Why are so few companies values-driven? Even when they start down that path, why do they wind up dead-ended?
A 2012 study shows “employees want their organizations to display honesty and integrity in business activities,” and “when leaders behave consistently with the core values, they earn employees’ trust and confidence.”
More so, it makes good business sense – research shows high-trust companies significantly outperform those that aren’t in the marketplace.
So why do so many companies fail in their effort? Here’s a true story and the 5 common errors they made that will derail any effort, including yours.
A True and Typical Story
This is a true story, but the name has been withheld to protect… well, frankly, me. It is an organization I am . . . → Read More: Why Your Company Values Might Not Matter