Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Perfect is your Leadership Vision?

I am very fortunate that for my 40+ years I have had 20/20 vision. I've never needed glasses, and I've always been able to spot things from very far away with my hawkeye vision while at the same time being able to read virtually anything that is placed in front of me no matter how small the font. But I have to be honest with you. I'm starting to notice that my awesome eyesight is starting to fail me, as my eyes occasionally require more squinting than they used to.  While I can come to grips with the notion that my eyesight is slipping, my pride and youthful ego will not allow me to concede defeat.

How Good is your Leadership Vision?
Are you near-sighted? Are you far-sighted or do you have perfect 20/20 vision?  This quick little description should tell you fairly quickly.

Near-sighted Leadership
n - The ability to see things up close, but unable to see things from far away.  

If you are a nearsighted leader, you're able to see the present reality very easily as well as all the problems and issues that are right before you; however, you're unable to articulate what they doable future really looks like to your followers because you can't see it. Therefore your followers are frustrated because they don't know where you are leading them since you can't see what the organization could become in the future.

Far-sighted Leadership
n - the ability to see things clearly from far away; however, you're unable to see things immediately in front of your face. 

A leader who is far-sighted is rather utopian in his views. He has grandiose ideas of what the school could become and how great it could be for kids and staff.  The problem with farsighted leadership is that the leader can't see things that are immediately before him. He can not see problems easily, and he has a difficult time articulating steps to lead staff to Utopia. Therefore followers under this form of leadership are frustrated with him because they can't get a clear answer as to what to do right now to fix today's problems.  

20/20 Vision
n. - the ability to see things close-up and far away perfectly. 

This form of leadership is the best of both worlds. The leader is able to easily identify the organization's current reality and can articulate to the staff what needs to be done immediately to fix today's problems. Furthermore, the leader is able to articulate today's actions in a way that leads to a promising future because the leader can actually see and articulate what the organization can become if everyone comes together for kids. A leader with perfect vision also has the ability to see the strengths and weaknesses as well as potential in every staff member.  He can help each follower develop strengths to address their weaknesses and move the organization one step closer to realizing its vision. 

Seeing is Believing
Seeing what's directly in front of you is important, but it is equally important to be able to see further down the road. It's easy to get tunnel vision and ignore either the present or the future and that will always lead you back to the past.  But leadership vision is different from human vision in that we can improve it if we want to.   Leaders must constantly evaluate themselves to ensure that they maintain the delicate balance of addressing the reality of today while maintaining the focus on tomorrow. Having 20/20 vision may not make your leadership perfect but it will lead your organization a little closer to perfection than it was before. 


  1. Surprized to see that how many views can be considered thinking about Leadership! Leader must have thinking about his team by down to earth vision.You have highlighted the fact that-"The leader is able to easily identify the organization's current reality and can articulate to the staff what needs to be done immediately to fix today's problems". Thanks for article.

  2. I enjoyed the work today and appreciate Blueridge hosting such a productive workshop.