NOTE from Phil: Today I’m sharing a guest post from Mike Myatt, author of the fantastic new book Hacking Leadership. I’ve known and respected Mike for a very long time, so I’m glad to be able to re-introduce him to you and share his new book with you. Enjoy?!
Hey Leader – Got Vision?
Visioning for leaders is a topic that I address in my new book Hacking Leadership and I believe it is a message that is often taken far too lightly by chief executives or any leader.
A leader’s ability to perform effectively is so closely tied to their ability to form a clearly articulated vision, evangelize the vision and then to execute on their vision, that no real discussion on executive leadership should take place without an emphasis on vision.
Put simply, I believe that leadership absent vision is a train-wreck waiting to happen. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that you simply cannot decouple the two without causing an organizational implosion. I’d like to share a few brief thoughts on visioning for leaders…
Examine any list of great leaders and you’ll find that to the one, they have a clarity and purpose of vision. The good news is that leaders without vision will take care of themselves in short order, as they simply won’t survive for long. However worse than the leader with no vision, is a leader with the wrong vision. These leaders can often go undiscovered for great lengths of time before their poorly constructed vision bubbles-up to the surface, by which time it is often too late to repair the damage. Many a good enterprise has been blown to pieces by a leader with either no vision or the wrong vision.
It’s important to understand that vision statements are design oriented. The vision is bigger picture and future oriented – it is the vision that defines the end game. Vision statements, as implied in the construction of the phraseology itself, put forth a statement of envisioned future. This vision, if successful, must be underpinned by core ideology (values) and then expressed with clarity and conviction. A non-existent, ambiguous, or ideologically weak corporate vision is nothing short of a recipe for disaster…It would be akin to the proverbial ship without a rudder adrift without any direction or control. A well articulated corporate vision should be capable of being easily understood and distributed throughout the value chain.
As magically vibrant and illustrative as a vision can be, a vision isn’t really about what can be imagined – it’s about what can be delivered. A leader’s vision must be distributed, adopted, and deeply embedded into the daily fabric of the organizational culture. A leader who doesn’t possess clarity of vision cannot expect those they lead to have clarity in thought or deed. A shared vision based on common values is the gold standard of corporate alignment.
About the author: Mike Myatt is America’s Top CEO Coach, recognized by Thinkers50 as a global authority on the topic of leadership, a Forbes leadership columnist, author of Leadership Matters, and CEO at N2growth. His new book, Hacking Leadership: The 11 Gaps Every Business Needs to Close and the Secrets to Closing Them Quickly, is available on Amazon.