- Who am I and why I am here
- Who are we and what do we stand for
- Where are we going and why
- Why we must change.
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LEADERSHIP IS A PROCESS OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE, WHICH MAXIMISES THE EFFORTS OF OTHERS TOWARDS THE ACHIEVEMENT OF A SHARED GOAL.
Friday, May 10, 2013
The meaning of vision is not a license for dreamy fantasy or overweening ambition.
It stands for the leader’s special responsibility:
- to see what is not visible to his or her people; to rise above and survey the landscape
- to find ideas, resources and talent to feed into the ensemble
- to help people understand the forces that carry them between the past, the present and the future
- to see into people’s hearts and minds and imagine how they best work together
- to direct, align and shape the enterprise to achieve excellence.
This demands a mix of investigative and influencing skills.
The former may mean going under cover in your own organisation, or, at the least, talking to people other than those who are closest to you and have a good opinion of you. Leaders can be coached in what we call “decentering” – seeing the world through others’ eyes – especially useful with one’s enemies! The latter means techniques that enable the leader to clearly and coherently shape the reality of his or her stakeholders: their beliefs, expectations, wants and vision of the future.
The last of these calls upon the most important tool in the leader’s repertoire – the ability to create a credible and compelling narrative. This will have four elements:
These help people make sense of the world they inhabit, to identify with the organisation’s central purpose, and to create positive engagement.
But the most critical kernel of vision is the first of the stories. This is the leader’s value proposition – his or her narrative about their personal journey to now, the principles that guide them, and the promises they make to their people for the future. This is the real meaning of leadership vision.