Wednesday, September 14, 2011

On Vision: Multiply Your Efforts By "N" Times

Leadership is about steering like minded people to achieve a common goal, a shared vision, mission or solve a problem.  A project leader might have like minded construction workers who will build something as he says.  His job would be to steer them so that project achieves what it promised to achieve on scheduled time.

How can a leader have everyone agree to a common goal? A leader can create a compelling shared vision that everyone strives to achieve.  A vision that is created in isolation inside board room without public participation will not go too far.  Sometimes leader's persona is enough to have everyone agree his/her vision (Remember Steve Jobs?).  But that is not the case always. 

If you keep telling people about your vision or what you believe in continuously then ultimately you will have people around you who think like you and now instead one person working, now you have n number of people working for your vision.  Again if people in your company or team agrees to your vision then virtually you have cloned yourself and multiplied your effort by the number of people in your team. 

A vision is really a nice way to say, "Do as I say", if created by a single individual.  A shared vision which is created by the community or a tribe within your organization could mean, "We will do as we say".    Great leaders are said to be visionaries not because they imagined future but they were able to convince their troops to work day and night in one direction without giving up.  When there was no sign of hope, the troops looked up to the leader for inspiration.

A single person can only solve few problem on his own.  But a person with a shared vision among millions of people can also bring governments down.  Vision is not good on its own.  It has to be shared and spread among thousands in the community so that it becomes a vision of the people.