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Examine your organization and leadership through the following questions: 1. What is vision in your work environment and how does one foster a shared vision in this kind of environment?  2. What signals (verbal and non verbal) do individuals send to leaders to communicate that they are inspired? 3. What metaphors/visual pictures are seen in your organization to communicate a shared vision? For example, some organizations use sports metaphors such as we are a team and others use family metaphors as we are one big happy family. 4. What do you think your/your leader’s strengths are at creating clarity as a collaborative leader?  Areas of improvement? 5. What recommendations/changes would you make based on your evaluation of your organization to Inspire a Shared Vision? Your initial post should demonstrate and integration of readings and lessons.

Your post must also end with a “Question to the Class” – something related to the topic that you found thought-provoking and about which you’d like to know more and have further dialog. 

No sources or citations required

General Instructions Applicable to All Forums:

To receive 100% as a grade (the exemplary level) for the weekly forums, you should ensure that your responses meet the following criterion:

Critical Analysis – Discussion postings display an excellent understanding of the required readings and underlying concepts including correct use of terminology. Postings are made in time for others to read and respond as well as deliver information that is full of thought, insight, and analysis. The information presented makes connection to previous or current content or to real-life situations, and must contain rich and fully developed new ideas, connections, or applications. (It is important that you integrate the weekly readings in your response. One way to do that is to make position statements, then discuss supporting evidence (i.e. research and/or personal experience).

Professional Communication and Etiquette – Written interactions in the Forum show respect and sensitivity to peers’ background and beliefs (Regardless of the position you are taking, please ensure that your participation comments are respectful to your peers’ background and beliefs).

Writing Skills – Written responses are free of grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors.  The style of writing facilitates communication. (Make sure your work is free of errors.  If there are any errors as outlined above, you will not receive 100% for the forum). 

This week’s lecture notes cover two main topics:

· Leadership Vision

· Enlist Others

Leadership Vision

“Visions are about ideals, hopes, dreams, and aspirations” (Kouzes & Posner, 2007, p.133).  Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee (2002) described a visionary as a resonant leader who moves people toward shared goals and dreams.  Sight is a function of the eyes, while vision is a function of the heart to see what could be. Therefore, visionary leaders must capture the hearts and minds of those they aspire to lead.  Visionary leaders show people how their work fits into the big picture and consistently reminds them about the value of their role and contributions.  Visionary leaders embrace, accept and believe in their vision.  They achieve buy-in and unconditional commitment of others, so they will be inspired and energized to achieve the vision.  Vision opens the gateway to leadership by example because vision leads the leader.  Leaders are responsible for articulating the organization’s vision to ensure it is clear and understood by everyone.  People can go faster when the vision is clear.  A clear vision makes it easier to see the big picture and create a win-win philosophy.  Without vision and focus, there is no clear direction or a sense of purpose.

Vision is knowing that every decision must drive the big picture.  The best leaders are those who see the big picture and make their vision a reality.  More important, vision is essential for leaders to know the way, show the way, and to help others go the way to achieve success.  Effective leaders know that to see their vision become a reality others must accept their vision as their own.  Kouzes and Posner (2007) stated that shared vision is the key to success and that leaders breathe life into visions.  Koestenbaum (2002) defines vision as the ability to think big and new.  He also identifies vision as a critical leadership strategy for greatness.  A visionary leader can think outside the box and keep things in perspective to see the seemingly impossible as possible.  People will usually buy into the leader and then the vision.  Therefore, leaders must have a strong sense of character, uncompromising integrity, and commitment to excellence to seize what they cannot see, inspire and gain the support of followers.  Stanko (2000) stated that leaders must serve the organization by setting the direction and then serve the people by equipping everyone that can help the organization accomplish its mission.

Enlist Others

Leaders must decide to bring others along and trust them to achieve the goal.  A leader’s passion drives the vision.  Per Kouzes and Posner (2007), what you envision for the future is all about passion. Our culture teaches people to be suspicious of leaders who demonstrate passion.  Nonetheless, great leaders such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. demonstrated passion daily, and the people loved them.  Kouzes and Posner identified Martin Luther King Jr. as a great leader who knew how to reach people, move their souls, and uplift their spirits.  Leaders can never move or lead something they don’t care passionately about.  Martin Luther King Jr. cared passionately about equality for all people.  He made tough decisions and even sacrificed his life.  Munroe (2005) stated that “passion is the driving force of leadership and energizes leadership motivation” (p.231).  Passionate leaders are so effective and successful because of a strong desire in the heart to achieve greatness.  People will follow leaders that demonstrate a passion to the end of the world without hesitation because they believe these leaders truly care about them.

Kouzes and Posner (2007) stated that “to enlist others, leaders need to bring the vision to life” (p.141). A leader must unite their followers with a corporate mission and vision.  This is made possible by the leader’s ability to inspire confidence and integrate organizational and individual goals to achieve success.  To succeed in today’s competitive, demanding, dynamic, and global-centric marketplace; organizations must encourage their people to expand their intellectual and cognitive boundaries exponentially to achieve their full potential.  Goleman et al. (2002) stated that leaders who focus not only on what’s wrong with the organization, but also on what’s right, unite and align people with a vision for a change, and causes them to visualize how their dreams and personal contributions fit into the big picture.  Effective visions cannot be forced on people.  Rather, leaders must set them in motion by using persuasion.  Leaders must share and communicate their vision.  Moreover, leaders must demonstrate the skills and competencies to create environments that are very dynamic, focused, and provide greater possibilities for people to strive for the impossible, to imagine the unimaginable, and to dream the undreamable. “Teamwork makes the dream work.”

 

References

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. & McKee, A. (2002).  Primal leadership:  Realizing the power of emotional intelligence.  Boston:  Harvard Business School Press.

Koestenbaum, P. (2002).  Leadership:  The inner side of greatness.  A philosophy for leaders.  San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass.

Kouzes, J. M. & Posner, B. Z. (2007).  The leadership challenge (4th ed.).  Hoboken, NJ:  John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Munroe, M. (2005).  The spirit of leadership.  New Kensington, PA:  Whitaker House.

Stanko, J.W. (2000).  So many leaders…so little leadership:  Beyond the power of

position lies the price of leadership.  Mobile, AL:  Evergreen Press.

 

Readings:

References

Dr. Woody. (2011, March 7). Why personality matters in the workplace [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/03/07/personality-matters/

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