Start with a Clear Vision: Because Leadership Is About Going Somewhere

Where is your organization headed in 2010?  What is your simple, meaningful vision for the future?

In an article for the January 2010 issue of Ignite!, Setting a Leadership Point of View for Yourself and Your Organization, Ken Blanchard reminds leaders that, “Without a compelling vision and clear goals, your leadership really doesn’t matter, because leadership is about going somewhere.”

Blanchard explains that in order to create the alignment and collaboration needed to succeed, senior leaders need to provide a simple meaningful picture of where the organization is headed, how everyone fits in, and what are the values that will guide day-to-day interactions with customers.

It’s important to keep the vision-setting process simple he says, because employees are quick to dismiss visioning efforts as word-games.  One successful company that Blanchard holds up as an organization that does it right is Southwest Airlines.  As Blanchard explains, “At Southwest Airlines, they believe that they’re in the customer service business—and that they just happen to fly airplanes.”

This common vision reminds everyone at Southwest that customer service is the foundation of their organization in a way that is memorable. And when you add in Southwest’s values of warrior spirit, servant heart, and a fun-loving attitude, you have all of the ingredients for a simple and memorable vision that can guide behavior among employees and with customers.

What’s your vision for the coming year?  To what extent has that vision been shared and embraced by others in the company?  Before you start leading, it’s important everyone knows where you’re going.

You can access the complete article here.  Also, don’t miss a free webinar that Ken Blanchard is conducting on January 19, From Recovery to Prosperity: The Power of Vision and Leadership.

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