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Leadership Means Clarity Of Vision

Leaders have vision; they can see beyond their nose, so to speak. Vision refers to the ability to see things far ahead in terms of time, evolution and growth. It also includes the ability to pre-empt the difficulties and obstacles and be prepared to deal with them when they look you in the face. In fact, the fundamental difference between leaders and followers is that the latter need to be told what to do and sometimes, even how to do it while the leaders will create work and be able to see the finished product even as they work on the initial stages. Vision is what Michelangelo saw in the rock; he didnít see the stone; he saw the statue complete and beautiful.

Leaders are persons with a vision, but unfortunately, not many leaders can convey their vision to the people they lead. They assume that everyone understands their vision. Often there is a big gap between their vision and what the people they lead see as the vision. In other words, there is a communication gap; they say something and it is understood as something quite different. Unless they spell it out people will derive all sorts of meanings from it. Everyone perceives things differently and a skillful leader recognizes this.

The most successful leaders speak a language their organization can easily understand. Successful leaders don't take it for granted that they will be understood. So, they take the time and the trouble to double check to make sure that the vision they are communicating is the vision people are hearing. In many instances there is a large gap between what a leader thinks he said and what subordinates think they hear.

The story of the blind men and the elephant needs to be remembered when communicating your vision. Remember, your vision is in your head and as far as the listeners are concerned, they are oblivious of it. Unless you are able to give a full picture of what is in your mind, they will construe whatever is important to them. In the end, probably each one will give a different meaning to it. To avoid such ambiguities, it is important to convey your vision in simple, definite, unambiguous terms.

A very simple way to test whether your organization's vision aligns with your vision is to ask people to write down the vision anonymously on a piece of paper in a short paragraph. Keeping the process anonymous helps people concentrate more on articulating the vision and less on worrying about getting it wrong or any repercussions from an incorrect answer. Once you get the feedback read over each and every vision statement.

A successful leader is one who will have majority of the people communicating his vision. However, more often than not, even fifty percent donít get it right. This exercise is more for your good. You will discover why they understood it that way. It is mostly because of certain gaps you left assuming that they already know these things. Once you know these gaps, you can plug the holes. And, your vision will be better understood.

Submitted by:

Harald Anderson

Harald Anderson is the co-founder of http://www.artinspires.com a leading online Motivational Posters gallery. "When Art Inspires, Military Art




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