It’s great to have a visionary at the head of a team.
Leadership with vision is one of the most powerful types of leadership. But the only time this will work to its greatest capacity, no matter how focused you are on your vision, is if everyone in your team can see what you see.
Which is why if you want to be a good leader, it’s important to be clear about a company values system and your intentions.
People will work in their capacities to achieve what they personally need to achieve. And, without a good leader, that is all they will do. Which is fine. Until the shit hits the fan, or until they move further up and have no idea what they are moving toward.
In the wake of a good leader…
Employees with a clear idea of the company vision, when problems arise––or as they move onto other responsibilities, or take on training or leadership roles themselves––have the same vision as they’ve always had even if they have different goals. This is the ideal.
This is where the differences between a leader and a manager become very obvious and the markers will be pointing to the need for someone with a clearer overall vision to lead.
Let me give you a little example…
A café owner recruits a whole team in one go. A manager has been put in charge because at the interview the manager told the owner of their vision for the café. Big impressive goals, and the manager was definitely capable of achieving those goals, that was obvious.
The new manager is very good at what they do, having worked in hospitality for years, they are capable of undertaking every role in the café and run it themselves with their eyes closed. It’s because of this the owner hired this manager. In doing so, the owner also hires 6 inexperienced juniors to work under the visionary manager. Hoping the manager will train the juniors in each of the areas they were so good at.
A week later, the new manager is getting great results. Within a week, the café is seeing a good turnover and each of the 6 junior staff have always got something to do, the café seems to be running well.
One day, the manager calls in sick. It’s not a busy day at the café, so the owner decides to get a temp barista to come in and take care of the coffee machine expecting that the rest of the team are able to manage the floor themselves.
But that doesn’t happen.
Instead, all hell breaks loose as the café starts to fill up. The juniors are lost. They are so used to just doing what the manager tells them that when he is not there, they really don’t know what to do. They have zero vision of how the café works.
What would a good leader have done?
A good leader would have had a vision for the café, and perhaps even the same systems as the manager in question, but the difference would be that the leader would have shared that vision with the whole team from the beginning.
A good leader may have explained how the café runs, and why they do everything they do. Eventually the staff would have seen the vision of the leader and what and how that vision was to be achieved and should have been able to get on and continue to achieve, even when the manager wasn’t there.
What a good leader understands, and is solely responsible for, is people united around a shared vision.
No matter the size of the organisation, it’s important to be clear about a vision, and shared values. A good leader will make sure of this.
People don’t need to be managed. As long as they’re aware of the outcomes and values, they (most of the time) can manage themselves.
A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done. – Ralph Lauren.