Many organizations first fade and then they fail because vision is shut down or controlled by one person or a select few. How leaders process vision in their organizations is a big reveal in their leadership. It is time we understand what vision is to an organization, what it means. We can then use this as a metric against good leadership and bad leadership.
It’s hard to give an exact definition to a word like vision. Sometimes there are just too many variables to consider, particularly the kind of vision that launches companies, produces new inventions, or crafts a new art. But we can explain the effects of vision and maybe distill its robust meaning in a few bullet points.
First, vision is regenerative. If apathy is a pool of stale and dirty water with nowhere to go, vision is the abundance of water from a recent rain with everywhere to go. Vision is a sudden, overwhelming abundance that replaces stagnant water.
Second, tested vision is superior to tunnel vision. Tested vision is like fresh pollen entering a beehive; all the bees in the hive are welcome to touch the fresh pollen. Tunnel vision is centrally controlled and not everyone is allowed to touch it or give input.
Third, vision starts with one person seeing a problem, which is made public with fierce discussion. A solution then surfaces sometimes during but often after discussion. The effect of the solution is the vision, meaning the real impact as measured in real value.
We can now give a few generalized bullet points on vision.
· Vision is regenerative; it cleans out stagnant waters.
· Vision is best when tested, or influenced by many.
· Vision is real value in a solution derived from discussion.
Companies and cultures perish for lack of vision. Vision with added value is the source energy of increasing productivity. It therefore makes good sense to find a way to process these qualities in your organization. Here are three ways vision can be processed in an organization:
· Allow for vision to challenge stale environments.
· Allow for everyone to test vision for its far-reaching impact.
· Allow for discussion to surface solutions of value.
Without the constant regenerative nature of vision in an organization, we become stale and lifeless. The organization fades first and then it fails.
By being made accessible to everyone through public discussion vision is properly tested. Without the regeneration of vision made public and openly tested, organizations fail to see solutions because they refuse to see problems. This is when they begin to fade. Failure is just a matter of time. If worried this will happen to your organization, regenerate with new vision that is tested and accessible to everyone in the organization. This is what thriving cultures do.
Taking control is when nobody is given any choice. You are told what to do. For a short time this can be necessary, but if a leader takes control for too long, it leads to imposing rigid rule, intimidation, and finally force to maintain control. The organization becomes highly political and less productive. It is easy to take control but very hard to lead. If an organization is run by corruption, taking control may be justified. However, if an organization is thriving and productive, there is no need for taking control. This leads to a second kind of leader.
Taking charge does not take away the choice from others. It is purely your will to act alone. It is a form of leadership where one person takes on a job to make something happen while everyone is left standing around. When surrounded by apathy, a take-charge person gets the job done that needs to be done. A take-charge leader does not lead with rule, intimidation, or force. They lead with example by taking action to get important work done. Take-charge leaders either work alone for the rest of their life, or they must decide to take control or take the path of a third option.
Taking responsibility is that third option. Taking responsibility is the organized consent of all involved. The challenge with taking responsibility is to give others consent, but you cannot give consent right away. Taking responsibility begins first with giving others the freedom to take charge. Eventually comes the liberty to add value, and then finally consent. With greater value added and more consent we have more productivity.
At Vision Impact Leadership, we help you take responsibility, and we focus on one goal, to help you create a thriving culture with less power struggle.
Be honest and answer that option you prefer.
Option A: Leadership that is hard to control buteasy to lead.
Option B: Leadership that is easy to control but hard to lead.
If option A, stick with Vision Impact Leadership. Subscribe to our Bullets Points and attend our Co-spire retreats. You are now on a path to creating a more thriving culture with less power struggle. Productivity will increase and your job as leader with experience less stress.