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Leadership : Having Vision

September 8, 2011

By Mike Lewis / Transworld Business  

I liked this article about Leadership.  The ‘mountain’ theme in their delivery is effective and the revival of the leader ‘spunk’ is handy.  Anyone who has climbed or has led a company can appreciate the writer’s point, Regardless of which peak you choose to summit, make sure you own it. “  My final note: That goes for family, too.


Effective leaders know vision.  Without it, forward thinking doesn’t exist.  And without forward thinking?  You and your company go nowhere.  Even if you’ve heard it all before and do your best to avoid the conversation, you know it’s important.  Don’t fight it.  Embrace it.  Own it.  Live it!

Enter:  analogy.  Picture a mountain.  Any mountain.  If you’re athletic, think Kilimanjaro.  If you’re not, think Kilimanjaro.  That’s right-why not?  Look up at that wonderful, scary and audacious summit.  To climb to the top is a far reaching goal.  Attainable?  Absolutely.   You just need the tools, resources and training necessary to make the climb.  That’s the plan for your journey.  Oh … and don’t forget about a positive attitude.   Leaders have an attitude that they can and will reach the top.  You have to when you suffer through the first bout of altitude sickness.  It’s part of the journey.

Enter:  reality.  Whether you need a refresher on your own personal vision or that of your company, as a leader, you know that vision means long term.  Being the best.  Surpassing your competition.  It may be far reaching, but definitely attainable.  And it shouldn’t change.  The worst thing you can do is switch up your vision every two years.  That summit is not going to change.  Maybe a few rocks will move here and there, but it will always be there for others on your team to conquer… even if you, yourself, are detained from the climb.  The most successful leaders are those who keep their companies focused on the vision they set out to achieve.  Working towards that long term goal is crucial to the health and wealth of your company.  That focus translates to strength.  And that strength leads to success.  The point?  Don’t mess with vision.

What you should be messing with is your strategy.  This is constantly evolving … just like the journey of your climb.  If the route you planned is blocked, you have to think strategically about how to get around, over or through the obstacle to keep moving forward towards that summit.   Markets change, the economy throws curve balls and new regulations pop up all the time.  You have to be strategic.  You have to be prepared.  And you most certainly have to know how to effectively lead your people through all of it.  Your people and your vision are counting on you.

Still need some convincing?  Then again, you’re still reading, so that’s a good sign.  Let’s go backwards for a minute. When you first started your company or became a member of the leadership team, you were sharing some type of vision to sell people on your business or to get you hired.  And you were probably pretty passionate about it at the time.  Think back to those good ‘ole days.  What were you passionate about?  Why were you passionate about it?  What motivated you?  Why such spunk?  Why couldn’t they keep their eyes off you when you spoke?  Now bring that fire to today.  Where can you go?  What can you achieve?  Will it be Kilimanjaro?  Or maybe … dare we say … you’re ready for Everest.

Regardless of which peak you choose to summit, make sure you own it.  Own the possibility, the journey and the leadership of your people.  Remember, your people and your vision are counting on you.

Leadership Means…Having Vision | TransWorld Business

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