To be successful in either leadership or management roles requires an opposing set of skills. Many are successful in either leadership or management roles; however, only a few are extraordinarily gifted enough to be able to successfully meld both requisite skills set together to create synergy. This blog will discuss distinctions between leadership vision and management planning. Leaders create a vision to inspire and provide direction for excellence through out of the box thinking that propels organizations to the top levels of their industries. From the opposite direction, managers develop the pathway that implements the leader’s vision through the planning process and focusing the employee’s energy by enforcement of policy and procedures.
Effective leader use their vision as the fundamental component to drive innovation and feed the insatiable appetite to excel. The drive to fulfill the vision is truly never-ending; because excellence is boundless it can never be truly realized. For example, if your organization’s vision is to lead your industry then what happens when it becomes the leader? It now has to look over its shoulder to see who is trying to catch up. If your vision is to continually produce innovative products that lead your industry, then your benchmark is simply to continue innovation. The fundamental desire for innovation is endless and the results are you lead your industry.
The vision is where we want to go and the planning process is the vehicle managers use to reach the vision. Planning is less flashy, but equally important. Leaders create the vision, but it takes a talented manager to construct the plan to make the vision a reality. Management is the yang to the leader’s yin. Managers build the road to meet the vision using the planning process to answers the following questions:
• Does the vision reflect the marketplace?
• How are we going to get there?
• How do we overcome the obstacles in the way?
• What is the time frame?
• Who will be involved?
Once these and many other questions are answered, then the pathway begins to take shape and roles and responsibilities are developed. Any manager can create strict guidelines for employees to follow to stay on course. An effective manager embraces the vision and then creates a pathway that sets necessary boundaries to keep people heading in the same direction. Highly effective managers create the boundaries, but also allow leeway for an individual ideas to be aired and implemented if it increases effectiveness of the vision.
A few extremely gifted individuals have the leadership ability to create the vision where they want to take their organizations and with the management skills to utilize the planning process to create the pathway to success.