As a leader develops a Vision for the future of an organization, he/she should consider the level of detail that vision should contain. Specific leadership circumstances will play a key role in the consideration. The detail of an architect’s vision for the construction of a skyscraper will be quite different than a Broadway director’s vision to stage a show. Each is well served to consider the appropriate level of detail required to motivate a desired result.
If the leader makes an error, unexpected or undesirable results may occur. The Broadway director leads performance professionals with years of experience (usually). One can imagine how blueprint-level detail could stifle the creativity of the actors. Whereas you may not want to ride an elevator to the top of a skyscraper built from the loose marks of an architect that allows for creativity during construction.
Too many details in a leader’s vision may suffocate great people. Too few details can allow an organization to wander aimlessly. The leader that considers an appropriate level of detail and designs it into the organization’s vision has prepared for great results.
There are several questions the leader can ask when wrestling with the details of a vision. What is the risk of leaving details unspoken? What is the risk of too many details? What is the proper origin for the details of the vision? Are the details absolute, or can they reflect the uniqueness of individuals in the organization? Is strict conformance necessary, or do I prefer creativity?
The level of detail consideration is just one of many mechanisms to move the lever of Vision to help a leader prepare for and deliver great leadership results.