Making Vision Real

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This is a guest post from Roger Chou, PgMP, of the Institute of Taiwan Project Management

Leaders have vision.

They put forth a dream and direction that other people want to share and follow. This "leadership vision" goes beyond a mission statement.

It permeates the workplace and is manifested in the actions, beliefs, values and goals of the organization's leaders. It's also known as "charismatic leadership."

A recent and famous example of leadership vision was shown by U.S. President Barack Obama in his election campaign. By offering a dream of a fairer society, he was able to mobilize people to work on his campaign without payment. The campaign was of a door-to-door nature, obtaining 13 million e-mail addresses in the process. From this, more than one billion e-mails were then sent, and in return 4 million people made donations--generating a record US$500 million, with an average donation of US$85.

Why did people respond to this campaign so enthusiastically?

Obama's campaign promised new possibilities; people were persuaded by this prospect of positive change for the better to help him achieve change. Therefore, for them, responding to and working for Barack Obama meant working for themselves. In helping him realize his dream, they were realizing their own dreams. What they gained was far more valuable than a day's pay.

At the Institute of Taiwan Project Management, the organization I run, we rely on four key ideas to create and achieve vision leadership:

1. Continually evaluate the business environment and propose a vision.
2. Express this vision through persuasion and encouragement.
3. Gain the trust of those you want to share your vision and engage them in this vision.
4. Lead others in fulfilling this vision.

With this shared zeal, we were able to quickly mobilize 300 volunteer project managers for a flood-relief operation after Typhoon Morakot hit Taiwan in August. Together, we prepared a work breakdown structure (WBS) that helped the relief operation.

Since then, the WBS has been sent to the President's Office, the Executive Yuan, the Post-Flood Reconstruction Committee, the Domestic Affairs Bureau, the Major Construction Association, the Taiwan Red Cross and other charity organizations.

I believe leadership vision will continue to allow our Taiwan PM Institute to thrive.

How has your organization benefited from leadership vision?
Posted by Lung-Hung Chou on: December 28, 2009 01:05 PM | Permalink

Comments (2)

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Kym Phillips
I have seen visions of leaders who I would describe as far from charismatic! Certainly, a charismatic leader is able to implement their vision much more easily than a non-charismatic leader, but vision and charisma are far from synonomous. As for the Obama campaign - maybe it was his charisma that got him over the line: not sure from this side of the earth - not everyone is interested in the politics of the USA.

Gregory Zhukov
People often says I'm charismatic leader in organization were I am. However vision is so much-much important part of company activity that it can't be even compared with charisma. It's definitely not synonyms!

> How has your organization benefited from leadership vision?

Communication. We significantly improved our communication processes as internally as well as communication with our customers. Our major benefit as an organization is easiest setting up an innovative internal processes. It comes smoothly and with much more fun rather than "no vision scenario".

Majority is that people just enjoy the key stuff of what they do daily and kindly focused on how to do better, how to be innovative, deliver faster and valuable.

Vision like establishing your own corporate/project language. Writing vision is like making your own dictionary with very special word's meanings of each word which become very unique and meaningful exactly for your project or organization.

For us, Vision makes our deliverables much valuable for customers in such details which usually are about impossible specify by docs at planning stage or it consumes enormous time on planning.

I'd say that the magic thing that our organization benefits from Vision has closest synonym - GOODWILL OF EACH of participants.

P.S. I'm big fan of this theme, thank you for your post! :-)

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