THE FIFTH TASK OF LEADERSHIP: AVOIDING BEING A VISIONARY LEADER
A strong leader is not a vulnerable leader and therefore welcomes feedback and criticism, so that what is put on track all the time is the organisational objective which everyone supports and would like to achieve. Strong organisations are those which plant the seeds today so that the harvest tomorrow will be better.
Causes of the failed vision:
Failed vision has been reported to be caused by a variety of factors including the following:
- The vision reflects the internal needs of leaders rather than those of the market or constituents;
- The resources needed to achieve the vision have been seriously miscalculated;
- An unrealistic assessment or distorted perception of market and constituent needs hold sway;
- A failure to recognize environmental changes prevents redirection of the vision.
If a leader ignores all the above sources in pursuit of a personal goal, the latter has been termed ‘a pyrrhic victory costing all the organisational resources so vital for the future. Leaders with visionary missions tend to use the CONVINCING and PERSUADING approach rather than invite input to the shaping up of the vision. These leaders therefore manipulate others by using their communications and impression management skills.
For example to have their own way, this category of leaders will surround themselves with people who would not challenge their ideas and who do not pose a threat to them. People who take the ‘I go along approach’ obviously help bury the realities of situations and make the world of ‘make believe’, the leader’s dream, and a reality. Some of the tactics used by leaders to have their own way include the following:
- Exaggerated self-descriptions;
- Exaggerated claims for the vision;
- A technique of fulfilling stereotypes and images of uniqueness to manipulate
- A habit of gaining commitment by restricting negative information and maximizing positive information;
- Use of anecdotes to distract attention away from negative statistical information;
- Creation of an illusion of control through affirming information and attributing negative outcomes to external causes.
A strong leader
- A strong leader will however be aware of all the various factors which can render a vision not applicable to the organisation they represent.
- Leaders during the implementation of TQM have to be fully committed to the success of their organisations and strongly believe that the vision supported by everyone else can be channeled by utilising to the optimum level possible all the organization’s resources.
- A strong leader is not a vulnerable leader and therefore welcomes feedback and criticism, so that what is put on track all the time is the organisational objective which everyone supports and would like to achieve.
- Strong organisations are those which plant the seeds today so that the harvest tomorrow will be better. If the organization’s resources have been totally depleted, this will leave it vulnerable in the future.