There is a direct relationship between the efficacy of leadership and the level of passion positive leaders exhibit for the mission, vision, and values of their organization. This passionate commitment is the third attribute of positive leaders.
Whatever products and services an organization produces and whoever its customers may be, powerful positive leaders have a clear vision for the future of their organizations and an articulate and well-defined purpose or mission. Positive leaders convey that mission to the people of their organizations, relentlessly. There is a simple adage. If the people of an organization, irrespective of the position they occupy, do not know what their leaders are going to say before they say it, then the leaders are not communicating their message with sufficient frequency and effectiveness. Relentless is just another word for commitment.
Positive leaders never squander an opportunity to tell their organization’s story or share its mission, vision, and values. One of the distinguishing characteristics of winning organizations is that everyone in the organization, or at any link in the supply chain, can articulate its mission, vision, and values.
A mission statement is a concise representation of purpose: whom does the organization exist to serve and what needs of its customers does the entity exist to satisfy? The best mission statements also address the level of excellence to which the organization aspires, which is a measure of customer satisfaction.
At no time can anyone in the organization be permitted to lose sight of its mission or purpose. History teaches us that human beings are prone to diversions from their purpose in the midst of the natural and seemingly infinite distractions to which they are inevitably subjected. It is the commitment of positive leaders that keeps mission and purpose at the forefront of the organization’s consciousness.
The leader’s vision transcends mission and purpose, recognizing that these are fluid concepts in a dynamic universe. Vision addresses the organization’s standing in its marketplace and its future direction. Among other things, vision assures that the entity’s strategic plan is sufficiently future-oriented. What does the future hold? How will customer needs and requirements evolve? What innovations in product or service will be needed to assure the entity’s competitive advantage?
The values of the organization are the things its leaders consider most important and almost always include commitment to customer satisfaction and exemplary quality. Values must also include information that conveys esteem with which the people of the organization are held. An entity’s values are the moral benchmarks against which each and every action of the organization is gauged.
This focus on values is critical because one of the most common problems that keep organizations from optimal performance is that its actions are not in sync with the things its leaders say. A clear focus on and an unrelenting commitment to the values of the organization on the part of its leaders serves as preventative maintenance that retards the emergence of secondary agendas and counter cultures. Such commitments are nothing more than a demonstration of a positive leader’s integrity.
A member of a client organization once commented, after a discussion of values, that these sound like nothing more than time-worn platitudes. I prefer to think of them as the underlying principles that guide the leaders of winning organizations.