Leadership is a role into which one is “cast” as a leader. You can be handpicked, voted in, born to it – or the last one standing. Rarely, if ever, is one hired as an assistant leader, unless you volunteer for the scout group in your area. In the world of work, if you are lucky, leadership should be top-down, bottom-up, outside-in, inside-out and even sideways. No matter the scope or style, great leadership exists on small, medium, and large scales.
Most jobs have an accompanying vision — an ideal or right way to do it and a wrong way. In the work-place, a leader can be one who is excelling in their job, a trainer of others, best cleaner of pans or chief provider of unity and enthusiasm. Many times I have been charged with “driving the strategy down to the front lines” and ensuring the “execution of the vision.” Not all leaders can articulate the “overarching” vision or mission. In fact, despite the coming cries of heresy, some leaders in an organization may not even be aware of, nor buy-in to, the current definition of “the vision” on any given Monday.
My working definition of vision has always been… “Beyond what you can see… to what can be.” Great leadership can exist without sharing the “dream” of a vision, if they strive for local “wins,” but the odds are against a blind leader without any victory vision who wants to be great.