Leaders must have vision. Not just in the “creatively imagined future” way, but also in the way of “I have an accurate assessment of the way things are right now.”
Leaders must (in the words of those wise men, Kouzes and Posner) “inspire a shared vision.”
Without knowing what the goals are, folks are rarely motivated.
While much is often made of that “creatively imagined future” form of vision, some leaders neglect the need to accurately read the “here and now.”
Motivation toward the shared vision can erode when the leader is out of touch with the current state of affairs.
For example, an overly optimistic leader can turn people off if there are ignored dysfunctions. Similarly, an overly pessimistic leader can bring down morale.
In developing the “future” sense of vision, many organizational leaders are already familiar with “SWOT” activities (these are good, and make sense).
In developing the “here and now” sense of vision, wise leaders will use assessments, 360’s, focus groups, or other tools to sharpen their awareness.
It’s wise to use caution, though — over-analysis can stand in the way of getting the day-to-day work done. Us this mantra: do what you need to do, but nothing more.
In an earlier post, I shared the “three things” activity as one way to engage others in vision development. This activity helps make the concept of vision more concrete and actionable.
So, where are you going?
Whether it’s simple or complex, make sure you have an answer to that question.
“The best coaches know what the end result looks like … if you don’t know what the end result looks like, you can’t get there.” – Vince Lombardi
Rate yourself – and/or ask others to rate you – on this:
I can accurately describe both:
A) the ideal state of our group
B) the exact current state of our group