By Paul DiCicco
April 12, 2012
“In three years every product my company makes will be obsolete. The only question is whether we will make it obsolete or someone else will.” - Bill Gates
One of the key quality traits of “eagle” leadership is that of not only having and providing a vision, but also knowing how to implement that vision. There are those in leadership positions that cause their organizations & businesses to move in every direction without a true sense of purpose, mission, or focus – creating a reactionary, “helter skelter,” stressful environment. They’ll jump on every “hobby horse” and new trendy idea or coined phrase that is put in front of them. When that occurs, it only leads to organizational chaos, a myriad of short term disorganized & dysfunctional efforts, and a gradual decline in morale. This downward spiral cannot, and will not, result in a sustainable high performance, committed, and motivated organization with the long lasting staying power of success. The key word being “sustainable”.
There is a huge difference between an individual who boasts that they are a “visionary” and a person who not only says they are a “visionary”, but can also take that vision, evaluate the purpose, determine whether or not it has the right focus and value, develop a strategic plan, and then knows how to implement that plan. The former is a “dreamer” whereas the latter is a “vision caster” and “eagle” leader.
The “dreamer” will stand out in front, “bull horn in hand,” and attempt to motivate and lead people by flashing new programs that will be pursued. He or she will use all the latest buzz words and basically have a pep rally mentality – thinking if they can only generate excitement, then success will surely follow. It may result in short term actions & emotional highs but, this approach will not lead to sustainable corrective actions, changes, or growth.
On the other hand, there is the “vision caster” and true “eagle” leader. When corrective actions are needed, changes are required, or direction must be given, this person does not panic. They will determine the purpose, plot out a plan & the steps that need to be taken, and set out on a progressive and aggressive implementation effort – being decisive and intentional along the way. In addition, the “eagle leader” will not do it alone but, will get the involvement and input from the team around him or her – because their buy-in, commitment, and passion is critical to the ultimate success and staying power.
Bringing it down to an everyday and practical situation, let’s look at a farmer. He determines his purpose (i.e. the vision), prepares his field, plants the seed, waters and cultivates the seed, and ultimately reaps the harvest. It is a purposeful, intentional, and progressive process. There is no magical, or instant, short cut to get to the harvest. It is a step-by-step, well thought out plan that will produce the lasting successful result.
In today’s society, we are told over and over that all we have to do is take a pill. With a pill we can lose weight, reduce pain, increase our energy level, feel younger, or whatever. We see people everywhere who “knee jerk” & react to a dream – not a focused vision. But, along with many of these “magic pills”, there are long term damaging side effects that can occur. Similarly, more often than not in organizations and businesses, there are unfocussed efforts with no true focused strategic purpose. Remember, having a vision is one thing but, knowing how to implement that vision is something totally different and has many different facets.
So these are the questions to ask yourself: “Are you a ‘dreamer’ or a ‘vision caster? Are you more interested in immediate results & changes – that produce short term optics or, do you want to create real lasting changes and implement corrective actions/processes with long term sustainability?” Choose your legacy.
Paul DiCicco is the president and founder of Relevant Consulting Services. DiCicco has more than 35 years of operational, manufacturing, and business industry experience. Contact him at www.relevantconsultingservices.com or [email protected].