In my last post THE POWER OF VISION I have highlighted the importance of vision. We concluded that vision is essential for channelizing our mental and physical energies and to achieve results of permanent significance. In this post we will look at the power of shared vision; we start with defining vision.
Vision is an image or description of the future.
Vision involves imagining where you as an individual or an organization wish to be in the future. From an individual stand point vision means where you want to be in your career/academics or in life say five years into the future. From an organizational perspective vision means where an organization wants to be say five years into the future.
There are two elements to vision, the first being “imagination” and the other “time” element. Imagination about the future involves creativity, courage and confidence; which we will take it up later in a separate post “Creativity and Innovation”.
In this post we will focus on vision from an organizational perspective.
Leaders who are visionaries using their imagination dream where they want the organization to be at a particular point in the future.
It will not be outrageous to say that growth of an organization depends on the vision of the organization, and it is totally dependent on its leadership’s ability to envision growth. That’s the reason we often hear the cliché “visionary leadership”.
Once vision is conceived by the leadership, it has to be communicated to each one in the organization. Mere communication to create awareness is insufficient, it is imperative that the vision is cast in such a way that people take ownership of the vision.
It is not an easy task to ensure each and every member of the organization to take ownership of the vision.
Inspirational leadership is the kind of leadership that achieves this task of vision ownership. This kind of a leadership allays fears of the people, instills self belief and confidence in the hearts of the people, engenders trust, enables people to stretch their limits of endurance and finally this kind of leadership leads by example.
Once vision is owned by each and every person in the organization, it is no longer the vision of core group in leadership; it is a common vision, the shared vision of the entire organization.
A shared vision is powerful because this brings to the table the sum total of the mental and physical energies of all the members across the organization. It brings in a sense of common purpose, a sense of unity and camaraderie. The size and spread of the organization pose great challenges to have a shared vision. Nonetheless it is worth going through the ordeal of reaching out to all so that every member shares this vision.
As a young entrepreneur forty years ago, I found it very easy to share my dream and vision with a small team, as we were growing at a rapid pace I found it difficult to communicate my dreams and vision to all. Over the years, I had to devise ways of reaching out and look for opportunities to effectively communicate so that I have everyone onboard. And I discovered, the effort and time is worth spending, as this enables you to muster the strength and power of your entire team to achieve a common goal.
So visionary leadership coupled with inspirational leadership are essential for a shared vision.
Once you have a shared vision, the sky is the limit for growth. That’s the power of shared vision.
In my next post we will discuss WHAT’S NEXT AFTER VISION?