Strategies that leaders employ to articulate and implement their visions

Observational Exercise

Leadership Vision

Purpose

1. To understand the way visions are constructed by leaders in ongoing groups and organizations

2. To identify strategies that leaders employ to articulate and implement their visions

Directions

1. For this exercise, select two people in leadership positions to interview. They can be leaders in formal or informal positions at work, at school, or in society. The only criterion is that the leader influences others toward a goal.

2. Conduct a 30-minute interview with each leader, by phone or in person. Ask the leaders to describe the visions

they have for their organizations. In addition, ask, “How do you articulate and implement your visions?”

Leader #1 (name) ________________________________________

Vision content Vision articulation Vision implementation

Leader #2 (name) ________________________________________

Vision content Vision articulation Vision implementation

Questions

1. What differences and similarities did you observe between the two leaders’ visions?

2. Did the leaders advocate specific values? If yes, what values?

3. Did the leaders use any unique symbols to promote their visions? If yes, what symbols?

4. In what ways did the leaders’ behaviors model their visions to others?

Reflection and Action Worksheet

Leadership Vision

Reflection

1. Stephen Covey (1991) contended that effective leaders “begin with the end in mind.” These leaders have a deep

understanding of their own goals and mission in life. How would you describe your own values and purpose in

life? In what way is your leadership influenced by these values?

2. Creating a vision usually involves trying to change others by persuading them to accept different values and different

ways of doing things. Are you comfortable influencing people in this way? Discuss.

3. As we discussed in this chapter, effective visions can be articulated with strong symbols. How do you view yourself

as being able to do this? Are you effective at generating language and symbols that can enhance a vision

and help make it successful?

Action

1. Based on your score on the Leadership Vision Questionnaire, how do you assess your ability to create a vision

for a group? Identify specific ways you could improve your abilities to create and carry out visions with others.

2. Good leaders act out the vision. Describe what ideals and values you act out or could act out as a leader.

3. Take a few moments to think about and describe a group or an organization to which you belong presently or

belonged in the past. Write a brief statement describing the vision you would utilize if you were the leader of this

group or organization.

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