Vision: Purposeful or Pitfall

The March Authentic Leadership Dallas lunch meeting will be focused on vision. We will meet on March 25, 11:45 am to 1:00 pm, at the Renaissance Dallas Richardson Hotel. Please RSVP on our Meetup page; you can find directions and other details there. We meet in the restaurant.

There is always a lot of chatter about having vision. Is vision important for individuals? Is vision vital for organizations?

Vision delivers a line of sight forward. More than this, vision creates a picture of what a possible future can look like. Even with a reasonable vision, some companies may not fully realize their desired endpoint while others may die in their vision. For example, Kodak had a vision yet the market passed them by.

The focus of our leadership lunch conversation will be centered on the value and pitfalls of vision. Some suggested reading to ignite your thoughts are highlighted below.

Vision: Purposeful or Pitfall

Guiding Growth: How Vision Keeps Companies on Course. Key Quote: “Typically, visions are not far-reaching enough, not big enough. Often, a vision is so generic that people cannot latch onto it, they can’t feel it in their heart and gut. And even when there’s a good vision, it’s guaranteed to fail miserably if senior management doesn’t walk the talk.”

What The Heck Is Wrong with… Mission and Vision Statements? Key quote: “From what I see, mission and vision statements are often a muddled stew of goals, values, aspirations, philosophies, strategies and descriptions. So, before I share with you some of my favorite ‘good’ examples, let’s just be clear about the difference between a mission and a vision statement:  A mission statement articulates the purpose of the company, basically why it exists, what it does and for whom. It should serve as an ongoing guide that spells out what the company is all about. The mission should focus on the here and now. A vision statement outlines the goals and aspirations for the future. It creates a mental picture of a specific medium-term target and should be as a source of inspiration….”

Do Your Mission and Vision Statements Fit Their Purpose? Key quote: “Extrinsic rewards and motivation produce short-term focus and thinking. This is not to say it is wrong or bad, but you need to notice it and manage those rewards around the appropriate outcomes. You also need to connect to long-term horizons, a place where people can locate themselves inside the story, be autonomous and design strategies for personal growth and purpose. A vision and mission will help them.”

Write a Vision Statement that Works. Key quote: “A good mission or vision statement is just that, a statement of a vision – a look ahead into the future.  A vision statement is an articulation of a view of the world that your company and your people are working towards, not what they are expected to do now.”

Why Startups Need a Strong Vision. Key quote: “You can’t base your company around current technologies, trends, or other companies. It’s about what you are doing for your customers.”

How to Create a Shared Vision that Works. Key quote: “In this last step, each team member identifies specific goals and actions they will personally take that demonstrate they are living the vision right now, even as they continue to develop the vision and work out the details. When they share their goals, they should also explain what they need from other team members for support. This is one of the most powerful steps in the process.”

Leading Conversation Agenda

Our meeting agenda is:

  • Forty-five second introduction: What do you want people to remember about you after the meeting? (10 minutes)
  • Question 1:  In the organizations you have been involved with, have all of them had strong visions? Is there a difference between organizations with strong and weak visions? Is there a difference between organizations with a vision and without a vision? Share your experiences. (20 minutes)
  • Question 2:  In your experiences, what has worked (or not worked) in getting a group of leaders to agree on a vision for an organization? What process have you used to develop a strong vision? (20 minutes)
  • Wrap-up: Leadercast updates and areas of assistance, May 9th.

If you haven’t registered for Leadercast on May 9th, please consider joining us to energize your leadership skills and spirit!

Ready to Lead in the Week Ahead? Insights to Energize.

Leadership is many things and we need to do as much as we can as often as we can to embrace and engage others. Some of the leadership thoughts from the past week highlight ways for leaders to stay a step ahead while continuing to work with others as progress is being made. Doing this is a leader’s challenge and a leader’s way!

Leading Through Mistakes by Jon Mertz on Lead Change. Key quote: “A certainty in life and work is we all will make mistakes at various points in time. When we do, the goals will be to limit the consequences, take corrective actions, and learn the most from them. Sounds simple, right? However, in both leadership and culture terms, we seem to complicate these goals.”

How Great Leaders Handle Difficult Conversations by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Every difficult conversation is an opportunity to improve the circle of trust. Assumptions and doubts block the development of trust.”

Why Your Change Needs A Word Of Mouth Strategy by Patti Johnson. Key quote: “Create a word of mouth strategy in your communications plan. Remember the informal ways to help spread the word and build momentum. Think organic sharing, not sequential.”

Leading is Learning by Jon Mertz for People Results. Key quote: “Leaders often hear or state a simple principle: Never, ever give up. An equally important one is: Never, ever stop learning. Being a leader is a high calling, demanding us to open our minds and embrace others in what they offer.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Also, please join us on May 9th for Leadercast! Details are highlighted here.

Lead Ahead: Week of December 2, 2013

As Thanksgiving is now in the rear view mirror, keep gratitude in the forefront of your leadership ways. Gratitude is more than an event; it is a leadership mindset.

If there is a theme to the past week of leadership writings, then it may be “revolution!” Our leadership can become complacent and stale. Through several posts, we see how we need to embrace our own personal revolution in order to have an organizational revolution. With this light, we see a comparison of leaders, the importance of communication and brand equity, and voices from past generations to guide us forward. This is leadership unveiled in a principled, refreshed way. Embrace it!

On Leadership Revolutions by Mike Henry. Key quote: “I’d like the Lead Change Group to be a place where people can challenge and be challenged in their leadership thought. That challenge will contribute to the personal revolutions and the organizational revolutions we desire to see.”

The Secret to Building Brand Equity: Democratize Your Brand by Krista Kotrla. Key quote: “Write your brand philosophy. Share it with employees. All of them. Share it publicly. Post it on your website. Make decisions based on it. Hire based on it. Onboard and train with it. Ask others to teach it. Fire based on it. Promote people, ideas and initiatives based on it. Be a servant leader. Grow more leaders. Empower others to run with it. Make it easy to participate. Make it easy to promote. Keep it simple. Celebrate sharing. Keep growing. Make a difference.”

How Pope Francis Schooled Ron Johnson by Barbara Milhizer. Key quote: “Ok, they’ve probably never met, but it strikes me as interesting how two ‘turnaround’ leaders of embroiled organizations, took wildly different approaches, yielding very different results.”

The Power of a Great Communicator by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Great communicators know that people won’t listening unless they connect intellectually and emotionally. It’s all about the quality of the relationships the leader has with the people they communicate with. Know your audience and start by conveying an emotional stories that connect to their heart.”

A Letter for Future Generations by Danny Rubin for Thin Difference. Key quote: “Look, I know life is confusing in your 20s. Sometimes, it’s easier to focus the camera inward than stare blankly into the vast unknown. ‘At age 25, I probably placed a little too much stress on perception as a measure of success. I’ve learned it’s not what others think, but what you think.'”

 Lead well in the week ahead!