Tag Archives: vision

A Leader Must Have a Vision

In the Ability to Lead, I quoted Warren Bennis who says, The Lone Ranger is dead.  In order to lead a Great Group, a leader need not possess all the individual skills of the group members.  What he or she must have are vision, the ability to rally the others, and integrity….

A Regional Director is discussing the thrust and directions of the office to her staff.

Visualizing what you want and wish to happen as if it already exists, opens the door to letting it happen.  A leader must have a vision to effectively set priorities and keep people focused and motivated.

Jim Clemmer says, Give it a strong, clear picture of what you want and this creative power starts to work magnetizing conditions about you — attracting to you the things, resources, opportunities, circumstances and even the people you need, to help bring to pass in your outer life what you have pictured . . . what you picture in your mind, if you picture it clearly and confidently and persistently enough, will eventually come to pass in your life . . .

That’s how powerful a vision is to a leader.  What you are thinking and imagining will usually happen, especially if you act on it.

“Soon after the completion of Disney World someone said, ‘Isn’t it too bad Walt Disney didn’t live to see this’. I replied, ‘He did see it – that’s why it’s here’.”
– Mike Vance, creative director, Walt Disney Studios

Disney World was created based of Walt Disney’s strong vision of how it shall look like.

A leader’s vision gives hope to the people especially in times of crisis, stress and difficulty and in state of confusion and despair.  As a leader, you must know where you are going.   Hesburgh says that you can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.

Where there is no vision, there is no hope.
George Washington Carver

I’m inviting you to share your ideas and opinions on the role of a vision to a leader by leaving your comments below this article.  I love to hear from you.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

101 Best Leadership Quotes

Here are my choices for the 101 best leadership quotes arranged alphabetically according to author’s first name.

Adolf Hitler

1. The art of leadership . . . consists in consolidating the attention of the people against a single adversary and taking care that nothing will split up that attention. . . . The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belong to one category.

Andrew Carnegie

2. No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.

Anthony D’Angelo

3. You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.

Anthony Jay

4. The only real training for leadership is leadership.

Arnold Glasgow

5. One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.

6. A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.

Arthur Carmazzi

7. Leadership is NOT about changing the mindset of the individual or group, but in the cultivation of an environment that brings out the best and even inspires the individuals in that group to do what needs to be done.

Arthur W. Newcomb

8. Show me the leader and I will know his men. Show me the men and I will know their leader.

Barack Obama

9. Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.

Bear Bryant

10. If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes real good, you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win football games.

Bill Bradley

11. Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.

Buck Rodgers

12. A real leader has the ability to motivate others to their highest level of achievement; then gives them the opportunity and the freedom to grow.

Claude Taylor

13. A leader certainly needs a clear vision of the organization and where it is going, but a vision is of little value unless it is shared in a way so as to generate enthusiasm and commitment. Leadership and communication are inseparable.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

14. You do not lead by hitting people over the head – that’s assault, not leadership.

Elbert Hubbard

15. Power flows to the man who knows how. Responsibilities gravitate to the person who can shoulder them.

Frank Tyger

16. One of the greatest talents of all is the talent to recognize and to develop talent in others.

General Colin Powell

17. The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.

Harvey S. Firestone

18. The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.

Harvey Mackay

19. A dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.

20. If you wish others to believe in you, you must first convince them that you believe in them.

Henry David Thoreau

21. He is the best sailor who can steer within fewest points of the wind and exact a motive power out of the greatest obstacles.

Jack Welch

22. Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.

23. The world of the 1990s and beyond will not belong to ‘managers’ or those who can make the numbers dance. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders – people who not only have enormous amounts of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.

24. Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do. Because then they will act.

James Boren

25. It is hard to look up to a leader who keeps his ear to the ground.

James Crook

26. A man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd.

Jim Collins

27. I’ve never found an important decision made by a great organization that was made at a point of unanimity. Significant decisions carry risks and inevitably some will oppose it. In these settings, the great legislative leader must be artful in handling uncomfortable decisions, and this requires rigor.

Jim Rohn

28. A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

29. Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.

John F. Kennedy

30. Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

John Maxwell

31. A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position.

32. Most people who want to get ahead do it backward. They think, ‘I’ll get a bigger job, then I’ll learn how to be a leader.’ But showing leadership skill is how you get the bigger job in the first place. Leadership isn’t a position, it’s a process.

33. Leaders must be close enough to relate to others, but far enough ahead to motivate them.

34. Leadership is more ? if not much more ? influence, rather than position.

35. Leadership is influence.

36. A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.

37. People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.

38. Remember, man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up.

39. Anyone can follow a path, but only a leader can blaze one.

40. Once our minds are ‘tattooed’ with negative thinking, our chances for long-term success diminish.

41. Character creates consistency, and if your people know what they can expect from you, they will continue to look to you for leadership.

42. Great communication depends on two simple skills—context, which attunes a leader to the same frequency as his or her audience, and delivery, which allows a leader to phrase messages in a language the audience can understand.

43. Earn the right to be heard by listening to others. Seek to understand a situation before making judgments about it.

44. Take the emotional temperature of those listening to you. Facial expressions, voice inflection and posture give clues to a person’s mood and attitude.

45. Credibility is a leader’s currency. With it, he or she is solvent; without it, he or she is bankrupt.

46. A highly credible leader under-promises and over-delivers.

47. The key to becoming a more efficient leader isn’t checking off all the items on your to-do list each day.  It’s in forming the habit of prioritizing your time so that you are accomplishing your most important goals in an efficient manner.

48. Talented performers flock to the best and brightest leaders, and these leaders in turn lift the lids off their people and uncork the latent talent inside of them.

49. Leaders don’t rise to the pinnacle of success without developing the right set of attitudes and habits; they make every day a masterpiece.

50. The best leaders are humble enough to realize their victories depend upon their people.

51. Passion creates energy and magnetically pulls co-workers and customers into a shared vision, and it is exceptionally strong when linked with a leader’s values.

52. Leadership involves the heavy burden of responsibility, and the fear of getting it wrong can paralyze a leader.

Ken Blanchard

53. Feedback is the breakfast of champions.

54. In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people… they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.

55. People who produce good results feel good about themselves.

56. The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.

57. Too many leaders act as if the sheep… their people… are there for the benefit of the shepherd, not that the shepherd has responsibility for the sheep.

58. Vision comes alive when everyone sees where his or her contribution makes a difference.

Lee Lacocca

59. You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.

Marcus Buckingham

60. There’s something unique and different that makes a leader, and it’s not about creativity or courage or integrity…. A leader’s job is to rally people toward a better future.

Mark Sanborn

61. Your success in life isn’t based on your ability to simply change.  It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers and business.

Marshall Goldsmith

62. To help others develop, start with yourself.

Mohandas Gandhi

63. I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.

Nelson Mandela

64. It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Peter Drucker

65. Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

66. Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.

67. No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it. It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

68. Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly and they will show themselves great.

Robin Sharma

69. The deeper your relationship with others, the more effective will be your leadership. People will not follow you if they do not trust you, and before someone will lend you a hand, you must first touch their heart.

70. Mastery in work and in life is about committing yourself to being excellent in everything you do, no matter how small and no matter if no one is watching. Do you practice excellence in your most private moments?

71. The first fifteen minutes of your day should be spent planning your day. Set specific goals as to what you will accomplish. These clear goals will give you focal points on which you can govern your actions and provide your with a template you can live your day from.

Ronald Reagan

72. Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.

Sam Walton

73. Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it’s amazing what they can accomplish.

Stephen Covey

74. Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.

75. In the last analysis, what we are communicates far more eloquently than anything we say or do.

76. Management is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; leadership determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall.

77. The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.

Ted Turner

78. Innovate, develop, motivate, inspire, trust — be a leader.

Theodore M. Hesburgh

79. The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.

Theodore Roosevelt

80. The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

Thomas Woodrow Wilson

81. Power consists in one’s capacity to link his will with the purpose of others, leading by reason and a gift of cooperation.

Tom Landry

82. Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve.

Tom Peters

83. Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.

84. The simple act of paying positive attention to people has a great deal to do with productivity.

Unknown

85. Be enthusiastic as a leader. You can’t light a fire with a wet match.

86. Leadership is one of the highest forms of service. It is best exercised when it freely motivates others to a decision that is really theirs — but which may never have been reached without the leader’s beneficial influence.

87. A leader’s job is to look into the future and see the organization not as it is, but as it can become.

Warren G. Bennis

88. Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult.

89. Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. The lessons of the ordinary are everywhere. Truly profound and original insights are to be found only in studying the exemplary.

90. Failing organizations are usually over-managed and under-led.

91. Good leaders make people feel that they’re at the very heart of things, not at the periphery.

92. Great things are accomplished by talented people who believe they will accomplish them.

93. Leaders keep their eyes on the horizon, not just on the bottom line.

94. Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard.

95. Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

96. The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it.

97. The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why.

98. The manager has a short-range view; the leader has a long-range perspective.

99. The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.

Winston Churchill

100. The price of greatness is responsibility.

WoodrowWilson
101. The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people.

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in their book, The Leadership Challenge, said that when getting extraordinary things done in organization, leaders engage in these Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:

  • Model the Way  – Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that wins your respect.  Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others. Leaders model the way. To model the way, a leader must have integrity, that is, his words and deeds match up.

Modeling the way is about earning the right and the respect to lead through direct involvement and action.

People follow first the person, then the plan.

John Maxwell said that leaders add infinite weight to their words by incarnating the principles they teach.

  • Inspire a Shared Vision – People always have a dream or a vision of an exciting and highly attractive future for their organization. The dream or vision is the force that invents the future.  Leaders inspire a shared vision.

  • Challenge the Process – Leaders face the challenge of changing from the status quo.  All leaders challenge the process.  They search for opportunities to innovate, grow and improve. They know well that innovation and change involve experimenting and taking risks.  Despite the inevitability of mistakes and failures leaders proceed anyway.
  • Enable Others to Act – To turn dream or vision into significant reality, it requires team effort, solid trust and relationship.  It requires deep competence and cool confidence.  It requires group collaboration and individual accountability.  Leaders have to enable others to act.

In today’s virtual organizations, cooperation can’t be restricted to a small group of loyalists; it  must include peers, managers, customers and clients, suppliers, citizens – all those who have a stake in the vision.

  • Encourage the Heart – The climb to the top is arduous and long which make people exhausted, frustrated and disenchanted.  They’re often tempted to give up.  Leaders encourage the heart of their constituents to carry on.  Genuine acts of caring uplift the spirits and draw people forward.

Many of today’s leaders fail to turn their vision into reality because they do not act as role models to their employees.  By not modeling the behavior they expect from their people, leaders could not influence their people to perform what are required from them.

The Basic Ingredients of Leadership

Warren Bennis, in his book “On Becoming a Leader”, listed down the following basic ingredients of leadership:

First is guiding vision. A leader must know where he is going and be able to convince his people to follow him.  According to John Maxwell, “ Time flies, moral soars upward, heroic stories are told, and commitment is the watchword. Why? Because the leader has a vision….  Without it, energy ebbs low, deadlines as missed, personal agendas begin to surface, production falls, and people scatter.”

Second is passion – the underlying passion for the promises of life, combined with a particular passion for a vocation, a profession, and a course of action.  The leader must love what he is doing as this conveys hope and inspiration to his people.

Third is integrity.  Warren Bennis cited three essential parts of integrity:  self-knowledge, candor, and maturity.

Self-knowledge – until the leader knows himself, his strengths and weaknesses, knows what he wants to do and why he wants to do it, he cannot succeed in any but the most superficial sense of the word.  When a leader knows what he consists of and what he wants to make of it, then he can invent himself.

Candor – is the key to self-knowledge.  It is based in honesty of thought and action, a steadfast devotion to principle, and a fundamental soundness and wholeness.

Maturity – is important to a leader because leading is not simply showing the way or issuing orders.  Every leader needs to have experienced and grown through the following – learning to be dedicated, observant, capable of working with and learning from other, never servile, always truthful.

Integrity is the basis of trust, a quality that cannot be acquired, but must be earned.  It is given by co-workers and followers, and without it, the leader can’t function.

According to John Maxwell, “When I have integrity, my words and my deeds match up.  I am who I am, no matter where I am or who I am with.”

Another basic ingredients of leadership are curiosity and daring.  Leaders wonder about everything, want to learn as much as they can, are willing to take risks, experiment, try new things. They do not worry about failure, but embrace errors, knowing they will learn from them.

In actual situation, vision statements are provided most of the time by the top executives.   Due to non-participation during the formulation, there are some followers who fail to embrace or internalize their vision statements.

John Maxwell said: “Sadly, integrity is a vanishing commodity today.”

Some followers do not trust their leaders anymore because words and deeds do not match and some are perceived to be unprofessional and dishonest.

On the other hand, it is also hard for government leaders to be daring because of government restrictions.  Their actions must always be in accordance with existing laws, decrees and orders.  Failure and errors can cause worries  as their detractors may use their deficiencies in filing cases against them in proper courts.