A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This post is a continuation of the framework I developed to plan for and diagnose Leadership Results. I suggest you read about the framework here and then come back to continue. This post lists several things a leader should consider for his/her Vision. To me, it’s important that you understand where you are in the framework before you invest time with these considerations.
It is helpful to define vision as the results before they happen, a picture of the future. The more specific the vision, the more specific the results of leadership can be. Less clear vision will still have clear results. The question is whether or not those results are what the leader desired. There is no such thing as a lack of vision. The leader may lack vision, but vision will emerge. Others will fill the void with anything from an emerging leader’s vision to a hodge-podge vision of those led. Again, the sign of the vision term is an interesting consideration. Six billion people on planet Earth are not likely to agree on many visions. Indeed, the six people in your organization or family may not agree. A positive vision for one person may be quite negative for another.
The leader needs to consider the scope for vision. How big is the vision or how small? Where are the vision’s boundaries? The circumstance of leadership will certainly impact these choices.
Vision should be infused with purpose. Purpose helps the leader answer the question why. Purpose is the reason to endure when times are tough. Purpose creates bonds in the organization beyond a working relationship and allows for deeper connections. Purpose has the ability to fuel those led, especially in the leader’s absence.
Level of Detail
The leader should consider the level of detail required for vision. Does the vision need to be specific, or can it remain vague? If the vision is left vague but should not have been, something will emerge to fill the void. If the vision is specific and does not need to be, it can smother those led. It can kill good ideas and push great people out of your organization.
Does it make sense with everything that is going on outside of your organization?
What is the downside? What happens if you fail?
Good vision is born of thoughtful, intelligent design.
Good vision has threads of strategy woven into it. Vision is more actionable when it addresses the whos, the hows, and the whens, not just the whats. If the vision is so innovative and cutting edge that there isn’t a strategy to execute it, consider a strategy for handling that type of an environment.