In my last post, I said that a vision needs to be clear and compelling if a leader wants it to be sticky. The responsibility of establishing vision and direction falls on the leader and it can’t be delegated. Leadership really begins with a clear vision. This week I will focus on the four components of a clear vision as described by Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels and Phil Hodges in their fantastic book – Leadership by the Book. They defined vision as a picture of the future that produces passion in hearts of everyone involved. A clear vision shapes, defines and guides the decisions and actions of the leader and his team.
The four components of a clear vision are:
(1) Purpose: This is the ‘why’ of the vision. The reason for the existence and formulation of the vision. A vision that lacks a compelling purpose or reason is doomed to fail. The leader needs to know and communicate the purpose of the vision to the team or organization. People need to know the reason why they are expected to connect with and commit to any given vision.
(2) Image: The picture of what things would look like if everything were running as planned. This is the preferred or desired future which both the leader and his team are aiming for. It is this picture that keeps everyone in the organization motivated to put in the time, effort and sacrifice necessary.
(3) Values: These are the operating standards of behaviour expected of the leader and the organization in order to achieve the successful implementation of the vision. It is essential for the leader to recruit the right people if he wants to see his vision fulfilled. The right people are those whose values are compatible with that which is required for the vision. A clear vision helps identify and recruit the right people.
(4) Goals: These are milestones or targets that guide everyone’s energy and keep them focused on accomplishing the vision. It is important for the leader and his team to set SMART goals. These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely. They help everyone make progress towards the vision because they ensure everyone has a clear awareness of what they need to do to achieve the vision.