We find management for Western Companies here in China and so think and use leadership a lot. Today, lets talk on vision and implementation.
On Twitter, Justin Irving @lead2pupose shared:
“Vision and implementation are two sides of the same coin and are therefore equally important. …you must lead by setting the course and direction…and serve by empowering and supporting others in implementation.” – Blanchard, Hodges, & Hendry
Handling both sides of this same coin thing seems very hard to solve for most leaders. Some leaders are very good at casting and maintaining vision, but fall short at implementing success. Others just put their head down and get to work, but the work force has no vision and no inspiration. Unwanted turnover mounts.
The right leaders can inspire and direct through vision and see the vision to completion.
My Own Tangle With Vision and Implementation
We are a company of leaders hiring leaders. From our successes and failures leading in China, we see these gaps in candidates.
One of my deep impressions was spreading the vision in a service company and then talking to people a few months later. Virtually no one knew the vision. It was then I learned that vision leaks.
Another deep impression was my deep desire to trust people to get the job done and not micromanage. Then, naturally things did not get done. Then, I developed a mantra, trust and check. The goal is to catch people doing right. and that also turns up the problems before they become the next crisis.
These are simple ideas. It is amazing how many leaders fall on one of these in one way or another by a plethora of hard to see gaps.
Therefore, in recruiting we care about learning the details of what leaders have actually done. Good theories like trust and check are no use. What actually occurred? What did the leader due to inspire and get the whole team on the same page? We know it is not magic. Leaders lead by instilling fear or passion. We want to find out which is working and how.