Putting the Pieces Together

One of the best metaphors to help understand the concept of vision is a puzzle. A puzzle is a picture that is cut into a number of pieces. Imagine each team member as one piece of the puzzle. It’s impossible to see the total picture just from seeing one piece. In fact, it’s difficult to even guess where the piece would fit in the puzzle without being able to see the whole picture.

Only by being able to view the entire puzzle is each person able to understand where he or she fits in the total picture and in what role in the organization. The clearer the picture of the completed puzzle, the easier it is to put the puzzle together by placing the various pieces in the correct position. The clearer you make the vision for your team or organization, the easier it will be for team members to work together toward completion of that vision.

Great leaders are totally focused on their vision. They think of it by day and dream of it by night. Continually focusing on the vision induces action. Both organizational leaders and team members need to understand and internalize the vision of the company. What separates effective leaders from mediocre leaders, or from no leadership at all, is a clearly defined vision and sharing that vision with members of the organization.

It is crucial that all team members feel the emotion and the potential of the vision and be totally committed to it. The leader’s role is to develop in associates a zeal for the organization’s vision. When team members fully grasp and share the vision, they dedicate the full power of their potential to the company’s future. Vision is the gift of clearly seeing the possibilities. Vision expands our horizons.

As competition in the world of business heats up, organizations are confronted with constant change. One significant change is the delayering, downsizing, and flattening of organizations. Companies realize they can no longer afford managers and supervisors whose only job is to watch over workers. In today’s world, team members must perform and produce results without being closely managed or supervised.

To compete successfully in the 21st century, leaders must create ideas that lead and guide people instead of constantly watching over them to make sure they’re working. This all starts with a clear, exciting, and inspiring vision for the organization.

Leadership Management® Institute
Reprinted with permission
Strategic Essentials is a Managing Partner for Leadership Management® International, Inc.

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