One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is moving from vision to execution as though it’s a linear process. The widely held assumption is they are two ends of a spectrum: Vision is about planning. Execution is about action.
The truth is: Vision requires action to be clarified and refined, and execution requires reflection to be effective.
IT’S NOT LINEAR
Most leadership experts subscribe to some variation of these five steps. The model is logical. But in reality, most of us don’t live our lives that way, and most leaders are not rigorous about it, because life doesn’t wait while you are planning. No wonder so many leaders have little patience with the first steps.
CIRCULAR IS BETTER
When you think of these steps as . . . → Read More: Vision and Execution Are Not Sequential
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?
A compelling vision helps you make choices about where to focus your energy. Without vision, you are in danger of trying to be all things to all people, scattered or adrift.
In our book, Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision, Ken Blanchard and I explain:
“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide the journey.”
Who you are is your purpose. Where you’re going is your picture of the future. What will guide your journey are your values.
Vision is about being great
A noble purpose is inspiring and helps you stay committed when times are hard.
A compelling vision is not about beating the competition or expressed simply in numbers. It’s about being the . . . → Read More: Guidelines to Create a Compelling Vision
Stay focused on your vision and take the first step.
Does your team share a real vision? Is it being lived? Does it make a difference?
Answer these 10 questions to find out how effective your vision is.
Get a reality check. Ask everyone on your team to rate the vision and discuss your answers. It’s a non-threatening way to launch a powerful team discussion.
(There’s a link to a free online version of this assessment at the bottom of this article.)
Rate each of the questions below on a 1 – 5 scale. Then total your responses to get your Score. Next read the section “What Your Score Means” to understand your Score and get ideas to help your team.
= Rarely = Occasionally = Sometimes = Usually = . . . → Read More: How Does Your Team Vision Rate?
The Full Steam Ahead! Roadmap
This is a “how to” post – for leaders and team members who want to create a shared vision. Over the years I have written blog posts that provide an explanation of each of these steps. Here I connect the dots by linking those posts with the steps they support.
This is my roadmap for the process of creating a shared vision that not only inspires, but also provides clarity on direction and ongoing guidelines for decision-making.
Step 1: Create a Compelling Team Vision
1) Before you begin, everyone should understand the three elements of a compelling vision and how they are interrelated.
Three Keys to Visions That Work
. . . → Read More: How to Create a Shared Vision That Works
This is a lovely moment. The darkest day of the darkest week of the year in the northern hemisphere.
It is the moment before the balance shifts and light begins to overtake darkness.
On the winter solstice, the rhythm of the sun pauses as it changes direction from decrease to increase.
If we pay attention, we, too, can’t help but pause.
This darkest day of the darkest week beckons us to pause.
What does any great athlete do before they…
…. dive into the water
…. throw the discus
…. grab the rings
What are they thinking about?
Nothing — absolutely nothing.
Shabbat means stop, cease. That’s what this week beckons us . . . → Read More: Pause Before You Plan
When I ask people to describe what it would look like if there were world peace, it’s hard for them to conjure up specific images or descriptions. However, they easily provide vivid descriptions of what a post-World War III world would look like. All they have to do is describe a recent movie or a video game.
On a daily basis we are bombarded with images of destruction in movies, on television and even in electronic games that children play. In contrast, we see few images of a positive future.
The images we hold in our mind have a tremendous impact on the reality we create.
Positive images are not easy to find, but there are more than . . . → Read More: The Images We Hold Create Our Reality