Business success is a matter of skills and not secret prescriptions.
Anyone who knows me and my worldview know one thing: Success or failure is a matter of management and management only. Add to that passion and vision and you have unstoppable power. Note, a company can have an excellent product line and deep pockets, but if its management fails in a creative, effective, and visionary way to harness all the resources in the organization to go in a certain direction, then bankruptcy is a matter of time. In fact, the cemeteries are full of companies that were once very successful but failed to preserve their superiority due to poor management, lack of vision, or the ability to lead change.
Look, we are not born to be visionary leaders. This is definitely an acquired profession. And here is also the point that everyone or almost everyone misses. Management is a profession. Management skills are what is required from the CEO of a startup company and also from the CEO of a mature company. And these skills can not only be acquired, but they can also be improved and honed over time if only desired.
When talking about visionary leadership, Steve Jobs' example often comes up. For many, he has been seen as having managed over the years to lead Apple through uncompromising visionary leadership. Principles like focus and simplicity have always been the compass that has outlined its path, but not only.
Please watch the following video, which in my humble opinion is iconic and distills the purpose of management and leadership with a vision. In this video, Steve Jobs shares with his employees, an initial vision for where the company is today (a few weeks after he re-joined Apple) and where it's going.
There are a lot of interesting and eye-opening studies on management, leadership with vision, etc. So, why this visionary leadership is so important? The data that you see here, is from one of the most comprehensive studies to date and it relies on over 900 other studies, beginning in the 1940s and 1950s. Over 900 studies, that had examined the impact of leadership on team performance have found that the leader of a team, accounts for 31% of whether that team performs well or not.
Of the 31%, the study looked at what are the most critical, most essential behaviors, that leaders are engaging in, that enables teams to perform well. And it seems that three very specific behaviors were of the highest importance, where the most important, is to create and communicate a vision that provides that team a sense of shared direction and meaning. The other two were the ability to structure the team right, and the ability to show consideration for individual team members.
So, for every CEO out there, the ability to create and communicate a vision is the crucial skill required for success. Your ability to be able to define reality, and create and communicate a vision that gives shared direction to your team, is quite possibly the most important behavior you can engage in if we look across all of the studies published in history on team leadership.
Visionary management also has a crucial impact on the ability of the entire organization. Looking at the impact of visionary leaders, on firm performance in terms of profitability and growth. More to add, your ability as a leader to create and communicate a vision, is most important in times of uncertainty. When the market around you is extremely dynamic and changing very rapidly, very fast, much like the organizations that you probably work in today, or that you will work in in the future, this is what will ensure your survival and the stability of your organization.
In conclusion, the ability of the CEO to lead the company from a place of passion and vision are the necessary components for success. This ability is often translated into a very clear roadmap and very clear tasks and goals. The focus and clarity regarding the role of each factor in the organization become a powerful engine that pushes the whole organization towards a very clear goal and they are the ones that produce the confidence of the whole organization in the way of the CEO.