The business was going backwards. Linda knew that they needed a new vision and strategy or they would not survive. She initially spent time listening to teams at all levels in the company, understanding their appetite for change. She outlined her view of the future if nothing changed. People began to see the case for a new vision and strategy. Linda and the leadership team created a bold new future for their organisation.
However, that was not the end of it. She had lived through too many vision and strategy statements that had been posted on the walls and did not go much further. She knew that there were conversations to start and conversations that no longer served them to end, if they were to successfully execute their vision and strategy. They started a conversation about being a cohesive team, to get the much-needed cooperation between the previously siloed groups in the organisation. Similarly, they decided to end conversations which did not support their new vision and strategy like, ‘the clients don’t value us.’
Linda was the first to acknowledge that a game-changing vision and strategy could not be achieved without elevating her own leadership. She ended the conversation that she was an impostor who did not have the capacity for a big game. It was a familiar story that she had told herself throughout her career whenever she took on a big new game. She started a new conversation about making a difference, something that reconnected her to a lifelong aim.
As a role model for taking her leadership to a new level, she could legitimately ask her leadership team to step their own leadership. They rose to the challenge and executed the bold vision and strategy.
Linda’s story illustrates the point that leadership and strategy go hand in hand. Just like in our personal life, we will not achieve our vision and strategy to get fit, unless we take action. In the book, Uncommon Leadership, the authors Phil Higson and Anthony Sturgess, suggest that “The two fields of strategy and leadership are often taught separately in our business schools, when in practice they should go hand-in-hand.” They add that, “Leadership is needed to bring vision, purpose and life to any strategic plan.”
Are you translating your vision and strategy into a leadership challenge?
Best regards, Brian
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