As we get older our eyesight changes. We lose the ability to see close up and it’s easy to miss the small details in life. When we think about vision, it’s important to notice the small details, while keeping your eyes on the larger vision. Leaders must think about the whole picture and an important part of your role is to make sure a clear vision is directing your team’s path. Leaders must be realistic when creating vision, however, at the vision setting level it’s important to keep the day to day challenges in perspective so they do not cloud clarity for the future.
A few questions we think are important for leaders to consider when creating and monitoring vision include:
- When was the last time you analyzed how the organization is moving towards its vision?
- If you are a new leader, what do you know about the vision that is currently in place? Is it your vision and if not, how do you honour the past vision while integrating it into yours?
- Are the stakeholders working toward and aligned with the ultimate goal the vision is trying to reach? If so, how do you know? If not, what is missing?
- Does your vision reflect today’s culture?
- Does your current vision fit within the overall ethical and legal requirements?
- Is your vision too broad or too narrow?
- Do the employees, students and community know the vision?
- Do they know what the organization is doing about moving towards the vision??
When your vision is clear and you have received input and support from your leadership team and/or mentor, model and reinforce the vision throughout your learning community. Successful strategies that you may consider in helping define/redefine and keeping the vision alive and current include:
- Attending Conferences
- Identifying and working with a mentor
- Participating in Professional Development
- Being part of Professional Learning Communities
- Following leaders on Twitter and being a part of Twitter Chats
- Visiting other schools/organizations
- Reading Research
- Evaluating Standards
- Dissecting Data
- Listening to stakeholders
Determining, communicating and maintaing an organizational vision is the first step to guiding a successful change process. Next is keeping the larger purpose in focus as day-to-day details pull your attention in different directions. Taking time to reflect on the questions above, and creating spaces to learn will only make you a stronger leader who builds sustainable change within their organization.