I admit to being annoyed by some new construction going up within sightline of my office window. For over two decades, I’ve enjoyed the beauty of unspoiled nature, tall trees and grasses, and an unobstructed expanse of green. All that has changed within the last few months, as two new homes are under construction. What’s the connection between this and leadership?
I began reflecting. What are my clients building their leadership houses upon? What is the foundation material they often deploy? Is there a clear vision of the outcome? Are things going in the right direction, in the right sequence to achieve their goals?
The Importance of Vision
In listening to clients who are sharing their challenges, I am struck by how often I invoke questions about vision. Vision is a foundational element of any achievement. Without vision, it’s impossible for people to move towards a goal in alignment. Sometimes the vision is clear to the leader, but not to others on the team. Sometimes it’s assumed to be understood. Sometimes the leader thinks the vision is clear, but he has difficulty articulating it fully. Sometimes leaders can get lost in “problem-solving” mode, losing sight of the important question: “for the sake of what are we doing this?”
Last week I had a client describe a breakthrough result from a recent coaching session in which his team had reached an impasse on an important decision. I asked him to reflect on what he would like to have as an outcome. Once he became clear on this, he was able to choose a way to engage the team differently on a follow-up call with colleagues. As a result, he brought a valuable perspective and was able to champion it towards a powerful result. He told me this broke through an impasse that had lasted over two months.
[notification type=”alert-info” close=”false” ]“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.”
— Ralph Lauren[/notification]
Another CEO client recently wrote that “through my personal work with Susan, and the work she has done with our executive team, we have clarified our vision by filling in the gaps with specific and measurable intentions. Our new and improved roadmap is not only easy to follow internally but also easy to share with clients and prospects. We have experienced over 100% growth over the last 6 months and I credit this success to Susan’s insistence on “clarity of vision”.
These clients are representative of how important vision is to effective leadership. I hope that you are leading with a clear vision. Vision inspires action—for ourselves and for others to join us. Build your leadership house with clarity of vision—collaboration, caring and co-creation are your materials.
I hope that when the nearby construction is complete, the owner’s vision is beautifully realized; my vision of beauty will be forever altered. A new vision is emerging.
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