The January 2009 edition of the Harvard Business Review has a piece titled “To Lead, Create a Shared Vision” by James Kouzes and Barry Posner discussing the importance of a shared vision for effective leadership.

“Being forward-looking—envisioning exciting possibilities and enlisting others in a shared view of the future—is the attribute that most distinguishes leaders from nonleaders.”

It seems that organisations with a true sense of purpose, vision and passion are few and far between, the article goes on to point out that:

“… researchers who study executives’ work activities estimate that only 3% of the typical business leader’s time is spent envisioning and enlisting.”

The process of creating a shared vision requires significantly more effort that 3% of an executive or senior managers time! A shared vision is not something that can be achieved with only a 3% investment of executive time.

When it comes to vision there is no miracle moment, rather it’s a daily journey. A journey that requires constant investment in modelling the right behaviours – daily, in communication – daily and the management of people’s expectations – daily.

  • Are you investing time in developing a shared vision?
  • What percentage of your time are you investing in developing a shared vision?
  • How much time are you spending in enlisting others?