IMPACT BLOG

YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE A CEO TO BE A VISIONARY LEADER

 

January 9, 2022

Harvard Business Review says “Sometimes a new company vision doesn’t begin with a CEO and instead bubbles up from the visions that lower-level leaders use to drive innovation and change in their own units…”

The question is how can you position yourself for these kinds of vision-building moments, and strengthen the “vision-muscle’ in your leadership? Every situation will be different, but here are a few tips to improve your chances to get involved and do some vision development.

Sometimes due to limited capacity, executive level leaders are missing important information about some parts of their team or customer base.  As a leader working with senior leaders and their own team, you may find yourself contributing as a translator of vision to others.  

You may have previously read the time-resistant book “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey. This is a great refresher read for LeaderImpact local groups alongside the Integrated Life Workbook available on Kindle. How are you exercising your vision-muscle today?

Harvard Business review article “You don’t have to be a CEO to be a Visionary Leader” suggests: 

Getting Yourself Into the Vision Game

So how can you position yourself for these kinds of vision-building moments, and strengthen the “vision-muscle’ in your leadership toolkit? 

  1. First, get clear on what a vision is, and why it matters. Don’t confuse “vision”(an aspirational picture of future success) with “mission” (why an organization exists), “values” (the principles and moral beliefs by which the organization chooses to operate), or strategy (the decisions about where and how to compete that bring a vision to life). 

  2. Watch for different kinds of opportunities to contribute. Contribute to the vision-work underway by other leaders. Find opportunities outside your company: shape or build a vision in your faith based organization, a neighborhood association, or some other community organization where you’re a volunteer. You can learn from many different opportunities, even smaller-scale ones.

  3. If you find a vision-building opportunity, don’t do all the deciding alone. Just as a senior leader might benefit from having you involved and contributing to a major corporate vision, share the process with others working with you in any of your own vision-building.

Learn by watching or studying other vision-building. Even if you’re not actively involved in a vision-process, you can learn a lot by actively watching how others do it. As you see and understand organizational visions of other companies, divisions, or teams, you’ll better understand what makes for a successful one—which you can then bring to the next opportunity in your own organization.

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