It’s really great that Simon Sinek, in a recent video, agrees that Vision comes first. He defines Vision as a “just cause,” something for which you are willing to sacrifice. He also describes the Why as the foundation of a house (i.e. past history) and the house to be built on top as the Vision (i.e. future).
The Flow Leadership Framework has taught exactly that for over a quarter-of-a-century; that your Vision fulfills a higher purpose (agrees with Simon’s definition).
Every organization needs a Visionary Leader.
If you only have an operational, by-the-numbers Leader, then your organization will be short lived & it might be excruciatingly painful to work there.
The infinity picture we use in Flow (with Anticipatory Vision on the left side & Operational Excellence on the right side) captures what Simon is communicating. As you read from left to right, Vision comes first, then operational excellence.
The left side of this picture includes Anticipatory Vision, Innovation and is the realm of Agile Coaching. The right hand side is simply achieving Operational Excellence and that is the realm of Management Consultants. Pivoting in the middle is VS/PT (Vision, Strategy / People, Tasks) along with the occasional need for a good dose of creative destruction (think Nokia, early 1990s moving from being a rubber boot and tire company and transitioning into a global electronics giant).
Along with Anticipatory Vision, we use the following modified Stacey Diagram to differentiate team-level Delivery from Organizational leadership.
It’s really the language of management in the Individual and Team lenses vs. the language of leadership in the Product and Organizational lenses.
Both are needed.
But Anticipatory Vision (using trend lines and future facts to be able to see over the horizon) is what we use to inspire, lead & motivate organizations toward achieving their higher purpose.
“Where there is no Vision, the people perish…”
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