Archive for May, 2009
“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.”
–Yogi Berra, Major League Baseball Manager
I can’t imagine a clearer statement of what has brought us into this deep recession. We want to believe that the experts are telling us something in which we can trust, yet as leaders, we need to be very cautious. We have recently seen a confluence of expert knowledge failures.
Leaders must be careful in picking which experts to listen to, especially when the experts make claims based on theories. In this last year, we’ve seen many failures result from blindly following the best theories experts could provide. We live in a world of practice, not theory:
One good way to open ourselves up to creating a powerful vision for a commodity is to look past the commodity itself and focus on what customers hope to gain from its purchase. Two examples come quickly to mind when thinking about chicken eggs: Egg Beaters and organic eggs.
Your leadership depends upon you attracting followers and that requires that you have a vision of a better future. You make that vision seem attainable to your followers through the messages you deliver, including your mission. Recently, we looked at vision and mission in Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech and in the context of evangelical religions and the US manned space flight program. How about for your company or organization? Can you identify a moving vision and mission for it?
I have already presented my opinion that the real for-profit corporate mission is to “create wealth for the owners”, but let’s look at an example of how an operationally oriented “every day vision” can provide more purpose to the activities of the corporation.