Sunday 3 February 2013


Why GREAT LEADERSHIP is all about VISION: Do you have a vision for your business here are some ideas worth considering.

Great Leadership starts with vision by Richard Gourlay

Vision, is as we all know is the most important leadership trait for a successful leader to have and present. That means they have to have a clear strategic vision for their business. Great leaders may be charismatic, they maybe forceful they may even be likeable, but for them to be successful they must have and be able to communicate and inspire others through their vision.

According to Right Management consultancy‟s survey of 1,439 chief executives and senior HR people from 707 organisations across the globe found that the outstanding trait of successful leadership is the ability to create and communicate a VISION was the most important characteristic for success. The score of 92% demonstrates just how important a characteristic this is across such a large number of very senior people in business.

Business VISION

The Right Management consultancy, which is owned by the Manpower group: survey provides clear confirmation to everyone in leadership positions that the single most important factor for success is that of creating and communicating a clear vision to their people.

“Without a clear vision no leader can succeed today in business”

Leader v Manager

The key difference between a leader and a manager is often simply summarised in that a leader sets direction while a manager ensures the delivery of the plan, or elements of it. This simplified statement is a good starting point in explaining how these two differing roles can be clearly defined.

Leadership v management different skills by Richard Gourlay

The research, which is heavily influenced by companies from North America, revealed that leaders evolve from a wide variety of backgrounds, experience and job functions within companies across a wide range of industries. Western corporate CEOs are most likely to come from Operations and Finance, with more specialised areas providing a less likely route to becoming a chief executive. This suggests that leaders are people who understand the internal systems of the business and the underlying numbers which drive its success.

Failing Chief Executives

Conversely, the top factors that contribute to the failure of chief executives include a wide-range of factors, which include both soft skills factors as well as the obvious failure to achieve acceptable results. The leading reason cited for failing chief executives is the failure to build relationships or team culture, reflects today‟s‟ importance of talent management.

Leadership Culture

Leadership Culture 8 C model by Richard Gourlay leadership culture consultant

Leadership Culture

The reflection that science is now more important than the science is evident: “Leadership development today is more science than art,” said Sue Roffey-Jones, practice leader at Right Management. “In today‟s business environment leadership development needs to be grounded in real work and focused on the critical competencies required for success in Chief executive level roles.” Key Skills

The importance of being financial and operationally literate to the CEO role is also becoming more evident: “We would assume that people are promoted to CEO from operations and finance because they are perceived to have developed competencies that are important for the CEO role,” said Roffey-Jones. “However, given what research has revealed to be the critical competencies for a CEO, how would a company develop leaders who have demonstrated a track record of creating a strategic vision‟ and "inspiring others and maintaining leadership responsibility‟ when these roles are more likely to be the fairly exclusive domain of the CEO?”

Succession Planning

The importance of succession and smooth transition is becoming more important. With the exception of the sudden changes, such as BP‟s sudden need to be seen to change direction in response to events, companies today are investing time and effort in succession planning. Good well planned succession planning ensures long-term shareholder value and the ability of avoiding the football management culture of change.

Executives, board members and business leaders all recognise that talent management plans, including succession management have become essential for sustained performance in today‟s organisations. Creating, finding and developing talent is now not only about identifying tomorrow's people but also ensuring they are contributing to developing tomorrow's business, buying in and helping create the vision of tomorrow. 

If you want to develop your company's position then there needs to be a vision for it, where it is going and why. If your look for some advice on developing your company, its marketing, its sustainable competitive advantage then contact us at Cowden Consulting to see how we can assist you, or read more about us in this blog or at Cowden Consulting.

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Cowden is a strategic planning and implementation business which works in partnership with customers to grow and develop their business, based in #Dumfries and #Galloway, Scotland covering the UK. contact us to learn more.

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