Mark Shead asked:
Many inexperienced leaders fail to sufficiently convey a vision to the subordinates they lead. If you are not skilled in telling everyone which direction to head you’ll have confusion. Worse yet, you’ll have a situation where people start creating their own direction. For some leaders their deficiency comes not from a lack of communication but from not having a vision themselves.
Vision is what determines what an organization is going to try to accomplish. Without a clear vision the organization will be pulled in many different directions. Some of these directions will cancel each other out, so even though much work will be done, very little is actually accomplished.
It is much easier to lead if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve and your ideas are good. Even if you don’t have a tremendous amount of skill as a leader, having a clear vision can help you through your shortcomings. People want to follow someone with a plan. By having a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, you will attract followers and people who want to align themselves with your vision. Individuals realize that on of the cornerstones of success is a clear vision. For this reason they want to align themselves with someone who articulates a vision—they want to join in the success.
In fact a poor leader with a great vision, will achieve more than a great leader with an ill-conceived plan. Success covers a huge number of failures. If you are successful, people will tend to forget many mistakes you make as a leader. If you are ineffective people are less likely to overlook your deficiencies in vision. People want to follow someone who will lead them to success. If you appear to be able to do this, people will want to follow you. If you have a track record of success, people will want to follow you. If you have a track record of failure, people will want to distance themselves from you in order to avoid your failures in the future.
If you are pushing people toward shared success, they will tend to stick with you because they are succeeding. In some cases they may even start mimicking some of your poor leadership habits thinking they are part of the reason for your success. Many people mistake success for good leadership skills. That is because people want to follow people with whom they can be successful.
Obviously good leadership skills are very important. It is much better to lead with a solid vision and skillful leadership expertise. Just make sure that as you develop your leadership skills, you don’t overlook the skills that will let you develop a vision that makes it worth it for followers to follow you.