The Leadership Imperative - 
The Vision Thing!
by Rick Sidorowicz

What’s wrong with this picture?

An executive took his direct reports out for an afternoon to create alignment to his vision of the future. As they stood at the top of a hill overlooking the city the executive described his vision for the firm and how the support and commitment of every individual was vital to achieve the objectives. 

The executive asked his key reports, “Do you see that knoll down there just below the crest?”

They replied, “Yes, we see it.”

He then asked, “Picture a house on that knoll overlooking the city. Can you see it?”

“Yes, yes, we can see it,” they replied.

“Now picture a swimming pool on the left and a tennis court on the right of the house. Can you see it?”

“Oh yes, We can see it,” they exclaimed.

The executive then said to the group, “If you work hard for the next five years and we achieve our vision and the company does well, someday that will all be mine.”

An inspiring vision? Worthy of commitment? Work hard so the leader’s program will succeed. How typical is this in organizations in one form or another? Ever wonder why people have difficulty with commitment - and what is really wrong with this picture?

The Vision Thing - Checklist

Vision is the starting point.

Vision focuses - our sights and actions on what we want to be tomorrow, not what we were or are today.

Vision is the painting of a picture of what we must be.

Vision flows from contact with customers and suppliers.

Vision with focus causes us to think strategically working backwards from the objective to today.

Vision provides the framework for action.

Vision is clarity, and clarity is power. Clarity allows people to evaluate their actions in terms of the vision. It insists that everyone direct their energies toward creating the tomorrow we want.

Vision inspires - us.

A vision must be worthy of commitment. People need to see the personal benefit from their vision of great performance.

An effective vision is a shared vision - a collaborative effort of individuals that fosters genuine commitment rather than compliance. 

The shared picture of the future is what binds, and the power is in the shared development of that identity and common purpose.

The Leadership Imperative is a continuing series on self directed action inspired by the work of James Belasco and Ralph Stayer in Flight of the Buffalo, Warner Books, New York, 1994.

Rick Sidorowicz is the Publisher and Editor of The CEO Refresher and
the Minister of Culture of High Performance Retail.

Many more articles in The Leadership Imperative in The CEO Refresher Archives


Copyright 2000 by Rick Sidorowicz. All rights reserved.

Current Issue - Archives - CEO Links - News - Conferences - Recommended Reading