Healthy companies have long-term vision
Two of the most important things a businessman can have are vision and the ability to communicate that vision. We’ve seen what happens to companies that simply react to market trends and temporary whims. An old proverb says, “Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.”
People will follow if they know the reasoning behind the corporate vision. They need to know which markets you intend to dominate and why. Don’t just assume everyone knows that customer satisfaction is important unless you are constantly stressing why customer service is vitally important to the company’s growth (and to their own job’s future) and how everyone plays a role in the process.
Let employees know you want to create a good place to work. Tell them what is expected and what is not tolerated. And it is equally important that employees are empowered. We all want to feel important. People need to know they are helping row the boat. Tap into people’s competitive nature. We all like to be on a winning team, regardless of who actually made the game’s winning goal. Stakeholders like to feel like part of the team, too (stakeholders such as suppliers). They like to share in your success as well, much like a city or a college roots for their team and celebrates each win.
Don’t keep your vision a secret. Those providing equipment or services alongside you need to know your expectations, requirements and plan of action so they can continue supplying you with exactly what you need in the way that you need it, when you need it. Employees and stakeholders alike must be aligned with your company’s core values and vision. It is this shared vision that compels people to do something, change something or become something.
Here, in a nutshell, is what leadership with vision is and is not:
The vision must inspire, motivate and have strategic alignment. If the vision is blurred, people don’t know what leadership is trying to achieve, especially if it changes as often as the local diner’s “soup of the day.” People can’t “buy in” to what they don’t know.
Leaders/managers/supervisors must have good leadership skills and encourage idea/knowledge management. When leadership skills are lacking, companies are either micro-managed or too hands-off. Often, there is no leadership development program especially when leaders feel they are irreplaceable. Ideas and knowledge are guarded rather than shared and are often discouraged by “know-it-all” management.
The workplace is a nurturing environment where good work and creativity are recognized and rewarded. Poor leadership discourages rather than encourages, creating a culture of blame rather than focusing on solutions. Eventually, workers lose confidence in leadership and become resentful.
Organization has a smooth flow so bureaucracy is minimized and allows for fast decision making. Poorly run businesses are too bureaucratic and everything (and everyone) is overly scrutinized. Creative thinking is not tolerated, while bureaucracy is encouraged. Decision making must pass through many layers. Employees become defensive and disengaged.
Well-managed companies are transparent. When communication fails to flow from the top down and vice versa, uncertainty follows. No one knows what’s coming next because the rules may change midgame.
For more information, contact Whitney Strickland at (281) 506-7152 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also published in BIC Magazine.
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