As a professional, one of the tasks of a leader is to develop and share their leader vision. The challenge many struggle with is the ability to look toward the future, while recognizing the intricacies that make up the foundation on which they stand.
Successful leaders are able to do both…just not at the same time…and rarely if ever alone.
It starts with the realization that in order to develop a clear vision for the future, one must fully understand (but not necessarily accept) where they are.
For example, in the field of education, the leader needs to recognize the reality of the institutions budget and revenue streams and flow, before they can hope to advance or make improvements. Additionally, they have to have a sense of what their citizenry (students, staff, faculty, etc.,) what or need; sometimes accomplished through a climate survey.
In the business service field, the leader must absolutely understand the cost for customer acquisition and recognize the value of retention if they are expected to move the organization forward.
In the public service field, such as Fire, EMS, and Police, the leader must have a firm understanding of the needs in the community they serve, or they risk creating programs, and developing initiatives no one wants, or supports.
Once the foundation has been established, and the leader knows the directions, initiatives, desires, or purpose – often related as the “will of the people” then they can begin to craft the vision.
The Leader Vision absolutely cannot be developed in a vacuum.
Foolish, failures have resulted from more leaders who tried to go it alone, than can accounted for. The reason a leader surrounds themselves with very smart, talented, and experienced people is to enlarge the pool of information and ideas from which they draw. The final decision is the leaders, but the process is a cumulative one.
In today’s dynamic ebb and flow of events, the Leader Vision should extend to no more than 3 to 5 years. The turnover in personnel, the advancements in technology, the instability of world events, and the ever existing cloud of politics and policies, renders visions beyond that reach non-viable in most fields. There are always exceptions.
After the vision is identified, it should be advertised. Short, memorable slogans, jingles, or aphorisms posted and promoted visibly throughout the organization, will spur the vision and spread the news. Very quickly, those who cannot get behind the vision, or who are not on board with the leaders’ direction will have an opportunity to free up their future and transition to an organization whose leadership and vision they can support.
Developing a leader vision can be a painful process, but it need not be. When using professional coaches, coaching tools, and mentors, regardless of leaders experience level, they can rapidly achieve success.
As a leader if you haven’t developed your vision, or need to improve or adjust, the best time to do so is right now, and the tools to help you do so can be found right here. So what are you waiting for?
Dr. Eugene Matthews