Evidence of a good leader lies in his/her ability to identify the vision and make it understandable to their team and/or others in the organization. As quoted from the King James Bible, leaders should set the vision and make it plain. This also goes in-line with the philosophical question of, “if you are walking and no one is following, are you truly leading?” Leadership vision and communication of the vision are vital in the effectiveness of a good leader.
Part I in this series will hone in on the needed traits required of leaders in vision planning. However, as we begin the study of vision for leaders, attention must be drawn to two significant questions:
- If a leader has no sense direction, will others follow?
- What man follows another down an unknown road?
These two questions are important in understanding the mindset of team members. The first question asks whether team members will follow a leader that has no idea where he/she is going. The second question uncovers whether team members will follow a leader with vision even if they do not understand or truly believe in the vision.
What is vision?
At the initial view of the word “vision”, that is without using Webster as a reference, one might gather that vision has something to do with sight. Though clearly defined, vision is “something seen in a dream, trance, or ecstasy”. Another definition describes vision as “a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination”. The final definitions present vision as a mode of conceiving or an unusual discernment or foresight. To summarize, vision is seeing something in one’s mind that does not really exist or has yet to come into existence.
When this definition is applied to business and leadership, a leader should possess the ability to discern future positioning of the organization, set goals and align tasks that are in support of the vision or the future position. The leader should use all the variables at his/her disposal to best position the organization or the team to accomplish the goal or make the vision come into existence.
Leader, the psychic?
To assume that good leaders have some psychic capability is a far fetch. However, assuming that leaders are forward-thinking and are able to apply business sense and understand business trends is quite realistic. From the team member’s perspective, there is some level of foresight expectancy when it comes to leaders. Some genius may refer to vision planning for business leaders as “planning for the educated guess”. The leader never really knows what the outcome may be, but they are in a position that enables planning for the expected and unexpected outcome.
First to the empty table
The first person to believe in the vision is the leader. If the leader does not truly believe is his/her plan, how can others perceive the outcome? We as human beings are sensitive to the impressions imposed by others. This is true whether we recognize it or not. No one wants to sit at an empty table while hungry, so if the leader feels his or her plan will fail, team members will see the lack of self-support in the leader’s actions and team support will dwindle. Team members need to feel as though they are working toward a fruitful (plentiful) end.
Increasing the variables
As described, leaders generally have “variables” or business knowledge that positions the leaders to make educated decisions. To enhance this knowledge, leaders should become experts in their craft. In the book Leadership Charisma, Haney, Sirbasku and MCCann, suggest that leaders should identify and pursue opportunities to improve performance. This can be accomplished by attending conferences, networking with industry peers, subscribing to and reading articles, etc. Leaders should have a vested interest in learning and enhancing their knowledge to support decision-making.
Own-up and give-in to progressive elaboration
A popular project management term is “progressive elaboration”. As defined by the PMBOK guide, progressive elaboration is “continuously improving and detailing a plan as more detailed and specific information and more accurate estimates become available as the project progresses and thereby producing more accurate and complete plans that result from the successive iterations of the planning process”. This form of vision planning is a mindset. Realizing that the leader sets the vision and that the details on the path to getting to the outcome are not all present at the onset of the planning process will allow room for input by team members.
All involved must understand that all details that support the outcome will be available at the onset of the vision implementation. While the leader is depended upon to make the final decision, the road which the leader travels to arrive at that decision can be changed or altered to meet project needs. Correction and/or constructive criticism can be sticky topic for leaders, but with progressive elaboration leaders are able to identify weaknesses and should be open to change.
Thus far we have discovered that…
- …leaders should have the ability to discern trends and potential outcomes in their business.
- …leaders should believe in the vision that is created and their team’s ability to accomplish the goals set to reach the outcome.
- …leaders should invest in knowledge and become industry experts.
- …leaders should allow the vision implementation process to be progressively elaborated and should also be open to criticism and change as new information is made available.
Part II of this series will describe the considerations around communicating the vision with team members as well as other members of the organization.
Opportunities in the spotlight
Honeywell is seeking a Customer Shared Services Manager. The Regional Manager will ensure consistency and efficiency of administrative support for the HPS customers both internal and external, defining the Customer Shared Services management strategies that aligns to and meets the expectations of all lines of business within HPS.
- Deliver world class administrative support experience for all HPS customers regardless of their requirements of point of entry into HPS, be the face of HPS to our customers
- Manage a team of Geographically based Front office Team Leaders ensuring consistency of delivery across all geographies. Direct team size of 10 employees with an extended team of 70 to 90 Administrators across EMEA
- Ensure that all customer requests internal and external are recorded and tracked to completion.
- Takes the LoB Point of Contact requirements and convert these to operational specifications and deploy those specifications across the Front Office organisation.
- Takes feedback/ improvement suggestions from the LOB’s and continuously improves the service delivery to meet the LOB expectations.
- Define and manage the Front office to agreed Key Performance Indicators that ensure alignment to the LoB expectations.
- Work with the Back Office Leader and other LoB interfaces to ensure clearly defined processes that enable effective and efficient handover of all customer facing activities.
- Ensure all operations are delivered to globally defined process and in accordance with the global quality requirements and ISO 9001
- Bachelor’s Degree required
- 10 years experience in a customer care or service administration experience.
- 5 years of Formal Leadership experience.
Link to full announcement