“Smart people instinctively understand the dangers of entrusting our future to self-serving leaders who use our institutions.. whether in the corporate or social sectors.. to advance their own interests.” Jim Collins (author, “Good to Great”)
When I come into an organization I’m often struck by statements like, “We just don’t know what we’re doing around here.” Or — “Every time I turn around EVERYONE acts like the boss. Everyone is trying to be large and in charge.”
As such, I’ve come to this conclusion:
It’s not that our organizations lack vision, it’s that they have TOO MANY operating at the same time!
In other words, without a common, aligned vision, individual people will begin to decide what’s important, what’s needed, and what their role is in delivering against their own vision.
We freelance. We write the scripts to our own productions. We cast ourselves in starring roles. Then, when things invariably don’t work out the way we’d hoped, we get frustrated with the “other actors” who just don’t get it.
After all, “My vision is the correct one, right?”
What happens when we have 100 people in a group — each operating with their own version of the future? Anarchy? Chaos? Pointless Politics?
Oh, it gets worse. It’s gets nasty.
1. If someone doesn’t understand our viewpoints, we think they just “need the facts.”
2. If we give them the facts, and they still don’t “get it,” then they’re idiots.
3. If they say “I get it, but I don’t agree with you,” then we think they’re evil.
And when an organizational culture devolves into individual vision, agendas, perspectives, ideas, etc., and when the “evil others” are doing things we don’t agree with, morale sinks, trust disappears, and professional respect goes out the window.
But, there’s a simple antidote.
We need shared, aligned visions. Like a laser beam gets all of its photons lined up and excited to head in a single direction, we need clarity. We need leaders (like you?) that take the risks necessary to build agreement, that weather the organizational storms that attempt pull apart the vision, and that remain steadfast, confident, and committed.
Are you such a leader? If so, we need you to step forward.
Pull your organization into a single view, one campfire, one tribe. Or at least get everyone singing the same song. Or dancing to the same music. Or at a minimum to stop using trite expressions and mixing their metaphors.
Aligned Visions are Power-Filled. Get one!