Defining Leadership

Mission and Vision Statements for Government Leadership Development

Don Midgett asked:

It would be hard to measure the public’s surprise at the recent call for supervisory leadership training in Federal agencies.  Fair or not, the persona of federal management practices does not encourage the idea of “soft skills” used to develop employees and the success of their tasks.  At a current event sponsored by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service attention was highlighted on federal agencies’ front-line supervisors.  Citing the ‘relatively neglected strata in the management hierarchy’ James Thompson, associate professor of public administration at the University of Illinois-Chicago asserted that front-line supervisors have a bigger influence on employees’ day-to-day performance than management at other levels, and they provide the most relevant leadership, hence the need to train and develop supervisors as leaders.

“Though not a new concept in business, this may herald a paradigm shift for government agencies and leadership at the supervisory level for using a mission statement and vision statement in achieving greater inter-compartmental communication.  This typically results in increased job satisfaction and ultimately, a higher realization of successful performance” said Don Midgett, veteran business and government leadership consultant, and author of ‘Mission and Vision Statements: Your Path to a Successful Business Future.’  Midgett recommends a tiered approach for using the mission and vision statement process with supervisors.  “Personnel at any level can begin with the organization’s top level mission and vision statement, analyze their role (mission) then communicate how what they do will support (vision) the organization’s top level statements.  An organization that can employ a tiered concept of leadership will notice improved performance levels.  They will have a pyramid of mission statements and vision statements to better define their purpose and desired future.” 

As a consultant to government organizations, Midgett has seen positive changes in leadership and organizations that used mission and vision statements, tiered the concept throughout their organizations, down to the supervisor level, and successfully employed their vision driven strategic planning process.

Implementing vision driven leadership and the strategic planning process instituted at the supervisory level speeds up vision driven change. It allows everybody to get on board faster with a better understanding of their need, performance expectations and contribution.  A tiered approach to your mission and vision will promote collaborative communication, feedback and coaching. 

For more on mission and vision statements, strategic planning and leadership development go to

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