Do members of your organization see the big picture?
Is everyone on the same page (and invested) in moving your organization toward success? Is your organization alive—do all the pieces contribute to a vibrant, thriving institution?
Many times, companies and organizations suffer because everyone is working toward different goals or various ideal outcomes. Everyone may have a concept of what success looks like, but getting that vision aligned is challenging.
As a leader, your vision is what moves your company forward. Sharing that vision with your employees and team is a crucial component of strong leadership.
Too often, as leaders, we get bogged down by living “in the weeds.” We end up dealing with day-to-day problems and issues. Creating a vision for the organization becomes the furthest thing out on our plate. But creating and maintaining a vision of what’s possible and desirable for the organization is vital. It helps us continue to move in the direction that leads to individual and organizational fulfillment.
An idealized vision for an organization is one of a dynamic, vital, nourishing place to work, where people set and achieve challenging goals. In these visionary organizations, everyone takes responsibility for their own success, but they’re also bought into and committed to making the entire company successful.
When conflict arises, the employees engage constructively. We know that conflict isn’t something we should avoid—productive conflict can make us stronger with better communication—constructive conflict results in sound decisions. The employees learn to communicate openly and directly through organization and express truths that help make the company better.
In a visionary organization, employees take the initiative and seize opportunities for themselves and the company. They’re empowered and confident to act on their own to solve problems. They pride themselves on innovation and their creative approaches to product and business development. Team members pride themselves on their innovation and creative approaches to product and business development. They anticipate the consequences of different options and alternatives and use their analysis to make decisions.
In a visionary organization, employees are encouraged and supported by leadership. As leaders, we help them work to their highest potential and to succeed at doing so. Everyone in the organization works to bring their personal and company vision to fruition.
What does a visionary organization leadership look like? How does leadership behave in this idealized setting, and how do team members thrive?
Managers in a visionary organization lead by example. Each leader displays all the above characteristics to an even greater degree than other employees. They set the bar and hold the standard that everyone aspires to.
Visionary leaders are excellent motivators and developers of people. These leaders offer their subordinates clear, constructive feedback and coaching to help them improve their performance. Because they have high emotional intelligence, they’re empathetic to the needs of their team. They understand how to up-regulate and down-regulate during communication, and they help bring out the best in others.
They encourage a sense of buy-in because employees are heard, and their contributions are valued. They build organizational commitment through creative, evolving, and changing methods to ensure the entire team is learning and growing together.
In a visionary organization, senior executives are strategic thinkers and visionary leaders who understand industry trends and develop long-term strategic plans based on the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and competitive position. But rather than focusing on the competition, they build their own skills and abilities to enhance and support their positive assets.
Strong leaders are also realistic about where they stand. They don’t turn away from criticism or feedback. They learn from their mistakes and missteps and use these opportunities to redirect and explore creative solutions.
They communicate a vision for the organization and the individuals in it that inspires employees to stretch themselves and work together to achieve the vision. In this organization, the leadership views the internal development of leaders as one of their most important job functions, and they’re constantly seeking opportunities to expand managers’ responsibilities and opportunities.
Finally, all employees, from the CEO down to the most unskilled workers, are committed to continual learning and improvement. Everyone in the organization is known for their honesty, integrity, and personal credibility. People can be counted on to do what they say they will do. They admit and take responsibility for their mistakes and put themselves at personal risk to take stands based on their deeply held values.
When an organization is helmed by visionary leadership, the results are quickly evident.
Because of the commitment, behaviors, and traits manifested by all its employees, a visionary organization becomes the industry leader and is universally respected for its integrity, values, and business success. Its retention rate is the highest in its industry, and it attracts quality candidates more easily than any of its competitors. It is known as a place where people work hard, and morale is high.
Although the leadership sets the vision and sets the tone of an organization, success radiates throughout the entire organization. Because everyone is valued, the company’s success feels personal. Everyone in the organization wins every time the company has a victory.
Does any organization live up to this vision of the “perfect visionary organization” described above? Well, the truth is, it’s unlikely. Most organizations have some (or a lot) of room to grow and develop a more visionary approach to leadership.
However, by analyzing the gaps between this vision and your reality, you can identify the key campaigns and initiatives you need to strategize and execute to reduce the leadership gap and improve the overall effectiveness of your organization.
Visionary leaders need to do the internal exploration and personal growth work to create clarity in their intention. If you want to lead your company successfully, you should look at your own engagement style and emotional intelligence. How do you motivate others? What is your leadership style? Are you someone who leads by energizing others but then pulls back on the execution? Are you someone who regulates those around you, wanting every idea to be carried out just so?
It takes courage to create and hold a powerful vision, especially in light of the struggles organizations face in today’s world. Yet the bigger the vision you hold, the more powerful a leader you can become. Of course, vision alone isn’t enough. Many people have grand visions and can even get others’ support but lack the follow-through. To truly lead your organization to the greatest success, you also need strategy and tactics. You need to set your intention and have the ability to execute your plan.
Your company’s culture and your people largely determine both your organization’s current state and what it will take to achieve your vision of the ideal future. As a leader, your intention is the primary driver to help your organization become what it can be. To figure that out, you need to be honest with yourself and allow yourself to “go there.” Look at the areas of your personal vision that you need to address, improve, and grow. Are there areas you’re ignoring or putting on the back burner?
Getting clarity on your vision is worth the effort. By creating an inspiring vision and engaging your organization in the journey to achieve the vision, the whole organization will benefit, as well as every stakeholder. Creating a vision for your organization is a critical part of your company’s current and future success. When you have a clear vision in place, it will act as your road map through every challenge.
For more ways you can achieve success in your career, please explore our career development courses at Wright Now. We have an array of webinars, seminars, and networking opportunities to help you realize the fullest potential of your personal leadership.
Learn more about Wright Living’s Career & Leadership Coaching in Chicago & Career Coaching Courses in Chicago.
Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.