By J. William DeMarco
A day of leave with some time to ponder and banter: One of the biggest differences between a leader and a manager is vision. A leader casts the vision for the organization–where there is no vision…there is usually a manager at the helm. True leaders recognize a difference between leaders and managers. Managers are mere maintainers of the status quo; tending to rely on systems and controls. Leaders are the innovators and the creators who rely on their people to make a true difference. Creative ideas become reality when people who are in a position to act catch the vision of their innovative leader.
An effective vision doesn’t need to be catchy, pithy, or poetic–but it does need to provide guidance and it must become more than mere words, letterhead and posters. It provides innovative direction to the organization–this direction in not just the result of rules and regulations, instructions, policy, or org charts…true direction for a unit is born with vision. It begins when the leader develops and accepts it; the leader in turn gains the organization’s acceptance when he models it…and becomes an amazing reality when the people respond to it… From what I have experienced… once the people grab it–it will become greater than anything the leader ever imagined… VISION is so important!