I remember my experience with the Boy Scouts, as a time working toward a common vision, whether the newspaper drive or recycling. Our motto was Be Prepared and it has remained with me, a reminder that the conditioning of my youth is the root of my drive and creative vision. Successful businesses follow the Boy Scouts’ motto and answer the question, “How prepared are we?”
One family business owner we worked with confided that his leniency with his children had contributed to their sense of entitlement. They took advantage. In another organization we learned that the production manager had quit suddenly, leaving all the time-sensitive paperwork for the certification of a recently developed program in limbo. Then there was a family-run operation that lost their controller at a crucial time because one of the children had alienated the entire staff while the father was on vacation for two weeks.
Were these problems merely a combination of bad luck and bad timing? Could these scenarios happen to you? Could some of the issues be prevented? What would you do differently in these three cases?
A robust leadership vison means letting go of the traditional firefighting role many businesses leaders engage in – sometimes for years. “What if” and risk management scenarios are not discussed or considered often enough; but they should be if you are going to be prepared. In many businesses that key vision is the most overlooked and underdeveloped area of opportunity.
Regardless of how long you have been leading the organization it is time to prepare your Leadership Vision Plan. Great leaders develop their skills over time, so you can expect that it will take several years for your potential leaders to develop the same skills you have.
Warren Bennis, the extraordinarily successful investor and philanthropist, noted that managers are people who do things right, while leaders are people who do the right things.
Now is the time to prepare your company’s future leaders by working to change attitudes, habits, and behaviours. Be the master of your destiny.