Who Creates the Vision of an Organization?
A misconception in leadership is that the leader MUST come up with the vision for the organization. Vision developing or creating might happen from time to time. However, in the best organizations, the leader works with the stakeholders or core members to collaborate on the organization’s vision.
I recently heard of a leader who would lock himself away from his team and “create a vision for the future.” He would then come out of his office, share the vision and expect the team to implement it. There was no discussion or pushback on the vision. Just an expectation that his vision was the only vision. As time passed, the team couldn’t “see themselves” with the leader’s vision for the organization. So they left, and ironically, the leader is no longer leading; the organization was bought out by another organization (that was not part of his vision).
Guiding the Vision
Leaders that guide the vision can:
- Know the organization; the strengths, and the weakness
- Know the sector in which they are competing
- Identify a niche market
- Collaborate with the key members, stakeholders, and the executive team on the vision of the organization
- Be flexible and open to input (over time) about adjustments to the vision
- Handoff the vision to the team for implementation
- Provide ongoing support to the team
Obstacles of Guiding the Vision
- Insecurity within the leader. Insecure leaders are not open to feedback and input from others.
- The leader is too positive. Life is tough, and leading change will require the leader to embrace the reality of guiding a vision forward even when it’s complicated.
- The leader is too rigid. Guiding the vision forward will require the leader to “lead with grace.” There will be days when the team isn’t confident about what the future COULD be like. Be gracious and help them see themselves in the big picture. Leading a vision takes time.
Did You Know?
Terry Porter is a certified life coach helping his clients reach their goals, Click here to learn more.
James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner (2006). A Leader’s Legacy. Jossey-Bass Publishing.
Cloud, Dr. Henry (2009). Changes That Heal: Four Practical Steps To A Happier, Healthier You. Zondervan Publishing.
Cloud, Dr. Henry (2006, January). Integrity, The Courage To Face The Demands Of Reality. Harper-Collins Publishing.