Since 2009, the ability to create a compelling vision and engaging others around it has been one of the most lacking competencies among leaders. As a result, organisations (start-ups, medium or large scale enterprises alike) ail from dull vision, uninspired employees and tepid company performance.
Leading with Vision seeks to answer another equally noteworthy question - how to better engage Gen-Y. Globally, Gen-Y will comprise 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025. Gen Y's needs from work environment are very different from that of the baby boomers. Gen-Y is digitally savvy, expect work-life balance, care about socio-environmental impact of their work and prefer to walk the talk. Organisations clearly need to redesign the work environment to unlock the true potential of this new creed. Current business leaders are operating in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world. Ideating a compelling vision, and communicating and executing the same, are daunting tasks. This is where the authors offer a framework of visionary leadership built around the 4 Cs - courage, clarity, connectedness and culture. This framework is agnostic of company size, industry, growth stage and geography.
Courage: Setting inspirational vision takes courage in three key ways - first, leaders must have courage to be bold and take risks; second, they should have the courage to be vulnerable; and third, they should not vacillate on the path chosen. Additionally, leaders should be able to visualise the end state (i.e. a state when the vision is realised).
Clarity: After defining vision, forging clarity is the next stage. Clarity is defined in terms of vision clarity (development of a clear vision), communication clarity (communication of vision to all employees), role clarity (who plays what role in executing the vision), process clarity (what processes will and will not be used), and decision-making clarity (when and by whom decisions will be made).
Connectedness: Leaders must build an emotional connection with employees. While they do so, they have to be especially mindful that Gen-Y demands to be motivated, challenged, involved, emotionally connected and inspired before opting in. The book offers insights with real examples on how to get this growing workforce tribe stimulated to contribute at their highest levels.
Culture: An organisation's culture has a substantial impact on its ability to achieve its vision, execute its strategy and drive business goals. Challenge for leaders lies in creating a culture where each employee is excited to "take the stairs two at a time" on a daily basis. An important aspect is to define organisational values, put them into practice and deal with the violations (regardless of hierarchy).
The authors have drawn data and insights from their decades of academic and work experience and delivered an actionable blueprint to define and execute compelling vision, help leaders make emotional connection with employees at all levels and navigate their companies to a successful future.
The reviewer is General Manager, HR, at Bigbasket