Visionary CEO

Visionary CEO

September 6th, 2014 // 2:58 pm @

VisionSuccessful CEOs need ‘a number of key skills including, vision, Business model understanding, fiscal competence, leadership and the ability to communicate.

Vision is a prerequisite of any competent CEO. This requires a clear view of how you want the company to be in the future. This is not something that merely adorns the walls as a slogan; it must be something you can expound on with enthusiasm and detail. It is something a great CEO can visualize and as importantly help others visualize. This when done correctly focuses the whole company and its resources in a common direction.

Vision is often talked about incorrectly in general terms, “We want a bigger turnover, and to be more profitable”. This is not vision these are aspirations, a vision is the essence of the company you wish to build that will deliver the aspirations of the stakeholders.

A good vision for a company should be:

  • One that can deliver the desires of the stakeholders. Visions can easily be side tracked to be driven by managerial ego, to be the biggest, to have the newest products etc. Such goals may deliver stakeholder aspirations but they are often included for more egotistical reasons.
  • A goal for the organization, which is challenging but realistic, it has to be something that people can buy into as somewhere they can get too.
  • Concise, if a vision turns into a list of objectives it looses meaning, and most company’s visions are just that, a list of vague goals.
  • Consistent, if the vision changes daily it becomes absolutely meaningless.
  • Understood and relevant to everyone. If a vision is not meaningful to everyone in the company it can be counterproductive.
  • The vision is the goal that must not be an abstract idea of utopia, but a place the company is committed to reaching, and every decision, at every level of the company needs to be made in relation to that vision.

Great CEO’s are constantly selling that vision, and peoples part in it. If you go into a well-led company you can talk to anyone and they will give you a similar view of where the company wants to go. If you work in a company where people understand the vision differently they may work conscientiously, but probably in the wrong direction, and people working towards different goals waste much human capital.

The moment a vision goes behind glass and on to a wall it is dead. A vision must be a living thing, which is the start point for every decision at every level of the company.

As a CEO the reality is 95% of decisions will be made in the company and you will not be in the room, and will not be able to influence the decision directly. However if everyone in the company shares a vision, then you have a good chance people will make the best decision they can in the pursuit of that vision. This can significantly influence the focus of the company towards its goals.

Devising a vision is a critical CEO role, and from that agreeing it with the board. It requires a clear understanding of shareholder ambitions, the nature of the business, and a judgement about where the business should go.

On occasions setting out a new vision can require some courage from a CEO. This is particularly true in the fast moving world in which we now live. There have in recent years been many successful companies who have been damaged by a reluctance to accept rapidly changing market conditions, and the need for a new vision.

A good example is in retailing where many traditional retailers failed to grasp the consequences of the Internet, and therefore the need to reinvent themselves. This has allowed new players such as Amazon to take very significant market share from companies who had been traditionally viewed as experts in retailing their particular type of products.

If a company does not have a very clear understanding of where it is trying to get to, the chances of it getting there are small.






Category : Blog &CEO

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