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!

Lead Ahead: Week of February 10, 2014

Purpose is embedded in many things and leadership is definitely one. When purpose blooms in the way you lead, wonderful outcomes unfold. In looking at what leaders from Authentic Leadership Dallas and Lead Change have been writing about, purpose seems to be at the top of the list.

Before diving in to the various leadership insights below, please take some time to read about Leadercast and consider registering to join us on May 9th. Early registration is open, and we hope you will join us.

3 Steps to Elevate Your Purpose and Maximize Your Impact by Mike Henry. Key quote: “What is an elevated purpose? My definition of an elevated purpose is one that creates great value for others. An elevated purpose isn’t one that benefits only us. In the end, our legacy will be what we did for others.”

Break Free from Inertia & Live on Purpose by Allison Rimm for People Results. Key quote: “Your personal mission is where you can use your talents and passions to address a need in the world – it’s as accessible and profound as that.”

Are You Pushing People Up? by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “No matter how much potential your business has, how good your products and services be, the most important aspect of your business that will yield success or failure is whether your people are motivated and inspired.”

Empower Innovation with Millennials by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “No matter if Millennial or Boomer, many individuals would leave organizations that block innovation, don’t listen, and create barriers to creativity and eventual new sources of profit, along with discouraging ways to improve our communities. The time is now for leaders to embrace a higher purpose for their organizations and encourage collaboration between generations to innovate for better products, services, profits, and a betterment of society.”

Lead with purpose. Lead well in the week ahead!

Reading Behind to Lead Ahead: Week of October 21, 2013

Leadership takes on many different essential elements, and this past week highlights several key ones, including: Inspiration, Communication, Vision, Values, and Change. Many great insights from Dallas-area leadership writers, along with key insights from the Lead Change team. Enjoy the insights. Join in the conversation!

The Most Important Phase of Inspirational Leadership by Krista Kotrla. Key quote: “It is because of the struggle that you will fly to higher heights. So thrash away and develop really, really strong wings. Because your inspirational leadership example is desperately needed and flying low is not an option.”

How Great Leaders Communicate and Connect by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Great leaders never call themselves experts or gurus. They are not here to impress. Great leaders are not self-absorbed. They want to communicate as a WE and not as a ME.”

Which Comes First: Organizational Values or Personal Values? by Jon Mertz for Lead Change. Key quote: “Don’t take your intuitive feeling as your personal values. Take the time to write the answers and think about them. Refine them. Write them again. Live them. Lead by them.”

Frontline Festival – Vision and Values by Mike Henry for Lead Change. This post provides access to a solid roundup of thoughts and insights on vision and values.

The Impact of Millennials: Big and Bold by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “This is a big, bold, and innovative generation, and we need to foster their leadership. It is about leading from the middle. It is about creating a culture to encourage the innovative spirit of Millennials. For older generations, we need to answer the call by ensuring our organizational cultures encourage innovation and provide an opportunity to try, fail, learn, succeed, and repeat.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Reading Behind to Lead Ahead: Week of October 7, 2013

It is October! At times, it is a wonder in how quickly days pass by. It also serves as a reminder for all of us to lead well each and every day.

Here are some highlights from members of Authentic Leadership Dallas and Lead Change. Keep centered, keep making a difference!

Reflections on Impact by Mike Henry. Key quote: “So as we come into October 2013, how is your impact this year? Have you had the impact you thought you would at the beginning of 2013? Are you on fire, swinging for the bleachers? Are the days flying by?”

Four Ways to Lead from the Middle by Tal Shnall and Krista Kotrla. Key quote: “Even if you’re not in charge, you can always take responsibility for raising the energy in the group and rallying people around a shared mission. Bring your enthusiasm. Inspire the team. Lead from the middle and you will make a big difference.”

Why College Education Has to Change by Chris Westfall. Key quote: “Current technology still can’t fully replace the classroom. However, as costs increase, the power of education will shift – it has to – to methods that fit within our technological capabilities.”

Is Vision Still Valid? by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “A mix of clarity and philosophy may produce longer-term results than vision. This may be how Millennial leaders can lead in a better way, learning from the past and replacing the role vision with the right mix of clarity and philosophy.”

Lead well in the week ahead!

Reading Behind to Lead Ahead: Week of September 30, 2013

Another great week from Dallas area and Lead Change leaders. From trust to energy to vision to taking breaks, there is a great mix to read and learn from. Thanks to a great leadership community!

Trust Is About Giving and Receiving by Jon Mertz. Key quote: “In the middle of giving and receiving trust, magic happens.”

Are You an Energetic Leader? by Tal Shnall. Key quote: “Energetic leaders don’t solve problems by themselves. They create an environment where people can perform and where diversity is valued and welcomed.”

The Value of Vision by Mike Henry. Key quote: “A compelling vision pulls you forward. It encourages others to join and changes the world. Is your vision one that will pull you through the hard times? Is it one that will energize others to believe, trust and act?”

10 Ways You Know You’re Working Waaaaay Too Much by Sheri Browning. Key quote: “Your 13 year old sings the background tunes to the conference call music he hears on speakerphone 8+ hours a day.”

Lead well in the week ahead!