Executing leadership vision may be among the toughest of the core leadership competencies to develop. To successfully execute your leadership vision, you must be able to define the vision, strategy, and tactical plan for your organization, and then effectively communicate it to your team in a way that engages and focuses them around a common goal. The three secrets to successfully executing your leadership vision are defining and communicating your vision, strategic vision, and planning and prioritizing for long-term goals:
- Secret #1: Define and Communicate Vision: Leadership vision is a vivid, aspirational picture of the future of your organization. It is long-term and measurable. Your vision answers the question: Where are we going? You need to be crystal clear in your definition of what that destination looks like, even if you do not yet know exactly how you are going to get there. This definition gives you and your team the ability to know exactly where you are located within the vision at any given time and whether you are getting closer to or further away from that destination. That destination must be exciting, not just to you and the people on your leadership team who may have helped you craft it, but also to the people who are charged with fulfilling it. It is not enough to simply define a vision, you also must create buy-in from your team and your stakeholders to execute it.
- Secret #2: Strategic Thinking: If vision is the search for meaning, strategy is the route that we take to get there. It is simply the search for advantage, and it also ensures you are planning for potential issues in your market. Both of these things factor heavily into our strategic thinking because the strategy can never be done in the absence of destination, and the destination cannot be reached without a clear route. Being a great strategic thinker does not mean being able to do it all alone. In fact, it is the opposite. You must always find ways to bring in different views and perspectives about your business to inform your thinking. Your direct reports and external advisers can help you identify that your ideas and assumptions are free from confirmation bias, or that you are willing to walk away from the herd in your industry.
- Secret #3: Plans and Prioritizes: Your team needs structure and a plan to execute your leadership vision. They need to achieve closure and key wins related to their work, which they are pouring their energy and expertise into accomplishing, on a daily basis. Develop a tactical plan with clear milestones and deadlines to make your vision a reality.