Vision…Putting it to work

Looking back on these past four weeks and our discussions of Vision.  What have we learned?  Here’s a sample of what we found…
  1. Vision is your clear, inspired picture, creating a passionate, committed journey to discover what can happen.
  2. Isolate what you see. What trends  and data support you?
  3. Allow your vision to inspire you, and you can in turn empower the people you are fortunate to lead.
  4. Lead others to see what you see through goals and action plans.
  5. Share your Vision in a way that everyone wants to follow you to success.
  6. Act on your Vision…set your sights on making it happen, include your Team,  keep it vibrant, and celebrate!
These are valuable lessons on Vision, but they do you, or your Team nothing if you tuck them away and move on.  It’s time to put this Vision to work.  
“Frank”, was faced with this same opportunity…Frank had a grand Vision.  
Running a family business, he suddenly found himself quite alone.  His father (the second generation owner) had recently retired, and then passed away unexpectedly.  His siblings had shown little interest to be actively involved in running the company.   While his own children were too young to work full time, he sensed at least two of them may have a future in succeeding him as fourth generation owners.  
Looking over the business, it didn’t take long to see through the current profitability and recognize signs of trouble over the longer term.  Too much revenue with too few customers, and most products had little longstanding value in the market.  The employee base was loyal, but largely inadequate to think of change and growth.  His facility was modern, conveniently located, but not organized well from a work flow perspective.
His close advisors, family members, and quite frankly his own conscience said this is the perfect time to sell and move on.  Grandfathers business had run its’ course.  But Frank saw it differently.  He saw two very bright children, pursuing degrees which would help them run a business.  The two children had worked summers and holidays, and in addition to making a few bucks, got a taste of how it worked at Dads company.  His largest customer had hinted about him following their lead and making some changes in current products and perhaps responding to some of their designs for new products.  Networking with other business owners and CEO’s, Frank discovered the difference some companies had experienced by delegating key leadership roles to new employees with fresh ideas, and energy.
After spending a few days alone, on sort of a self imposed sabbatical, Frank realized he saw things differently than his friends, family and advisors.  Frank isolated some trends, and built some good dependable data around market opportunities, leadership employees he might look for, and longer term implications of a planned change.  Frank did indeed see a very clear picture of an opportunity to grow this company in a new direction.  He knew it would take a new commitment in energy, resources, and his own passion.  
As a first step, Frank went to his Board of Advisors.  To help support the numbers and projections, they also saw Frank was passionate, and committed to make this happen.  They were on board.  
Step two on in the plan was to energize a Leadership Team.  While there was not much to pick from internally, Frank empowered the few he selected, and inspired them to see what he saw.   The initial task of this Team was to conduct an outside search for a new COO.  This COO would lead them with fresh ideas of new methods, new product, new markets, and to encourage everyone to enthusiastically follow Franks Vision.  
Frank found he still had the spirit of his Grandfather who built the company, and he realized it when he saw it in his own children as well.  Perhaps that was the tipping point.
Now, it’s too early to see if Frank will realize his Vision.  But, a vast number of changes have been made, and yes there have been growing pains, but the positive reinforcement has easily outnumbered the difficult moments.  Their customer list has grown.  They expect to launch new products soon.  Lean and other manufacturing methods have been implemented to seize opportunities for efficiencies.  Clearly, Frank is on the way to reaching the Vision he saw so many months ago.  But it meant he had to allow himself to be a Visionary, to gain a clear picture, become committed to it, share it with others, inspire his Team, but most importantly, he needed to put his Vision to work.
You have a Vision.  It may not be on such a “grand scale” as Frank, but now is the time to act on your Vision…Put it to work!
Next week we begin our study of Charisma.  Number 2, in our detailed look into the 12 behaviors of the Rare Leader.  Don’t let that make you believe we’re finished with Vision.  We’ll keep talking and challenging you to use your Vision.
If you want to learn more about the Rare Leader™ in you, 
or if you are interested in retaining Steve as your Executive Coach, 
Contact Steve Riege via: twitter, or his website.

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