AndersB

Clairvoyant wanted. Please call 07___3_8___1_

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I've written another LinkedIn post and published on my blog:

http://upstreamview.com/

 

Clairvoyant wanted. Please call 07___3_8___1_

 

The title of this post is an advertisement I have long wanted to put in a local newspaper. Then I thought: well, if the clairvoyant is any good, then they shouldn’t need the hints about my phone number. Actually, if they are really brilliant I don’t need to put the ad in at all. So I didn’t.

 

What I would have asked the responding clairvoyant was “what will be the next month’s winning lotto numbers?” Maybe all the brilliant clairvoyants out there have already won the lotto several times in a row and don’t need my payment for their services. This would prove that all clairvoyants that charge you money are fake.

 

Anyway, this post is about vision. It is a difficult subject to write about, yet most people seem to think it is important for leaders to have vision. As a society we want politicians with a strong vision for the future, but we often just get slogans instead. What is the difference?

 

A vision is based on an ideal future and foresight. A vision should therefore be possible to explain both in simple terms and in detail. I think a slogan is a simple vision that cannot be realistically explained in detail.

 

So why is vision important for a business entrepreneur? Hurst et al (2008) suggest that the business founder’s personal vision and entrepreneurial vision need to align. Otherwise there will be inherent conflicts down the track. The entrepreneur needs to figure out if the business commitment fits with personal desire for freedom and flexibility. Is the main personal goal to build a 100% owned lifestyle business that replaces an income, or is it to build a fast-growing business with investment funding? These kinds of questions are important and provide guidance for early stage business strategy. To attract investments for the business there is a need to build an investment case from day one. What investors look for is a big topic for another post.

 

Likewise, Ward (2011) discusses the importance of alignment of family values, vision, and business strategy for mature family owned businesses. Values are linked to core beliefs such as business first vs family first, business as family glue vs business as a threat to the family, and team decision making vs individual leadership. The impact of these values lead to a vision definition whether the family will function as owner-governors or owner-managers.

 

So how should a powerful vision statement be formulated? Kantabutra (2008) suggests that such statements have the following attributes:

  1. conciseness
  2. clarity
  3. future orientation
  4. stability
  5. challenge
  6. abstractness
  7. desirability or ability to inspire

Call me cynical (or an engineer – same thing), but I don’t think the ability to inspire should be in the list. Whenever I read a vision statement like “being the leader in our market by superior performance” I just want to throw up and immediately translate it to “management will lie, cheat, and steal to make up the next artificial quarterly figures to boost the company share price and executive bonuses”.

 

So keep the vision real and make it actually guide business strategy. Inspiration and passion should come from people, not a grand statement on a wall.

 

References

 

Deborah Hurst Shelley MacDougall Chris Pelham, (2008), Aligning personal and entrepreneurial vision for success, Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 2 Iss 4 pp. 367 – 386

 

Kantabutra, S. (2008), What do we know about vision?, Journal of Applied Business Research, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 127-38.

 

Ward, J. L. (2011). How Family Values and Vision Drive Business Strategy and Continuity/Cómo los valores y la visión de las familias dirigen la estrategia y la continuidad de la empresa. Universia Business Review, (32), 26.

Edited by AndersB
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Then I thought: well, if the clairvoyant is any good, then they shouldn’t need the hints about my phone number. Actually, if they are really brilliant I don’t need to put the ad in at all. So I didn’t.

I met a woman at a party once. The usual 'what do you do' question popped up. She said she was a clairvoyant and asked what I did. I told her she was the clairvoyant and if she could guess what I did I'd hire her for a reading. She failed. 

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I've written another LinkedIn post and published on my blog:

http://upstreamview.com/

 

Clairvoyant wanted. Please call 07___3_8___1_

 

The title of this post is an advertisement I have long wanted to put in a local newspaper. Then I thought: well, if the clairvoyant is any good, then they shouldn’t need the hints about my phone number. Actually, if they are really brilliant I don’t need to put the ad in at all. So I didn’t.

 

What I would have asked the responding clairvoyant was “what will be the next month’s winning lotto numbers?” Maybe all the brilliant clairvoyants out there have already won the lotto several times in a row and don’t need my payment for their services. This would prove that all clairvoyants that charge you money are fake.

 

Anyway, this post is about vision. It is a difficult subject to write about, yet most people seem to think it is important for leaders to have vision. As a society we want politicians with a strong vision for the future, but we often just get slogans instead. What is the difference?

 

A vision is based on an ideal future and foresight. A vision should therefore be possible to explain both in simple terms and in detail. I think a slogan is a simple vision that cannot be realistically explained in detail.

 

So why is vision important for a business entrepreneur? Hurst et al (2008) suggest that the business founder’s personal vision and entrepreneurial vision need to align. Otherwise there will be inherent conflicts down the track. The entrepreneur needs to figure out if the business commitment fits with personal desire for freedom and flexibility. Is the main personal goal to build a 100% owned lifestyle business that replaces an income, or is it to build a fast-growing business with investment funding? These kinds of questions are important and provide guidance for early stage business strategy. To attract investments for the business there is a need to build an investment case from day one. What investors look for is a big topic for another post.

 

Likewise, Ward (2011) discusses the importance of alignment of family values, vision, and business strategy for mature family owned businesses. Values are linked to core beliefs such as business first vs family first, business as family glue vs business as a threat to the family, and team decision making vs individual leadership. The impact of these values lead to a vision definition whether the family will function as owner-governors or owner-managers.

 

So how should a powerful vision statement be formulated? Kantabutra (2008) suggests that such statements have the following attributes:

  1. conciseness
  2. clarity
  3. future orientation
  4. stability
  5. challenge
  6. abstractness
  7. desirability or ability to inspire

Call me cynical (or an engineer – same thing), but I don’t think the ability to inspire should be in the list. Whenever I read a vision statement like “being the leader in our market by superior performance” I just want to throw up and immediately translate it to “management will lie, cheat, and steal to make up the next artificial quarterly figures to boost the company share price and executive bonuses”.

 

So keep the vision real and make it actually guide business strategy. Inspiration and passion should come from people, not a grand statement on a wall.

 

References

 

Deborah Hurst Shelley MacDougall Chris Pelham, (2008), Aligning personal and entrepreneurial vision for success, Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 2 Iss 4 pp. 367 – 386

 

Kantabutra, S. (2008), What do we know about vision?, Journal of Applied Business Research, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 127-38.

 

Ward, J. L. (2011). How Family Values and Vision Drive Business Strategy and Continuity/Cómo los valores y la visión de las familias dirigen la estrategia y la continuidad de la empresa. Universia Business Review, (32), 26.

 

I too like your insights.

I especially like the comments related to clairvoyants.

I've often thought similar, especially when such people make easy money from very vulnerable people after the loss of loved ones.

I don't doubt that genuine clairvoyants exist. I have witnessed enough evidence to suggest that some individuals do have highly attuned senses related to past events, but I doubt whether anyone can accurately and consistently predict too far into the future.

Even Jesus didn't claim that power!

 

Without detracting from your own words, I might add, that having vision as a leader is more about reading the landscape around you and like a rally driver, listening to your navigator, but always being ready to adjust your responses to what's in front of you.

I don't see too many leaders with vision in our political entourage at present. Strangely, I happen to think Gough Whitlam was our last visionary leader.

I also actually think Kevin Rudd had a vision for the future, but he lacked the necessary skills to bring it to fruition.

A good leader keeps his people close handy, and refuses to move too fast so that the slower people are able to catch up.

A visionary that goes out on their own too far ahead of the pack is way too vulnerable.

 

Anyhow. Nice work Anders. I've always been a fan of your sensible pragmatic thinking.

 

PS: Do you mind if I borrow parts of this for a small reflection I write occasionally?

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I too like your insights.

I especially like the comments related to clairvoyants.

I've often thought similar, especially when such people make easy money from very vulnerable people after the loss of loved ones.

I don't doubt that genuine clairvoyants exist. I have witnessed enough evidence to suggest that some individuals do have highly attuned senses related to past events, but I doubt whether anyone can accurately and consistently predict too far into the future.

Even Jesus didn't claim that power!

 

Without detracting from your own words, I might add, that having vision as a leader is more about reading the landscape around you and like a rally driver, listening to your navigator, but always being ready to adjust your responses to what's in front of you.

I don't see too many leaders with vision in our political entourage at present. Strangely, I happen to think Gough Whitlam was our last visionary leader.

I also actually think Kevin Rudd had a vision for the future, but he lacked the necessary skills to bring it to fruition.

A good leader keeps his people close handy, and refuses to move too fast so that the slower people are able to catch up.

A visionary that goes out on their own too far ahead of the pack is way too vulnerable.

 

Anyhow. Nice work Anders. I've always been a fan of your sensible pragmatic thinking.

 

PS: Do you mind if I borrow parts of this for a small reflection I write occasionally?

 

Thanks for the kind words Solomon.

 

I think vision and leadership are very closely linked, so leadership will be another topic for a future post.

 

Feel free to borrow as much or as little as you like. If you borrow a lot, it would be a great favour for me if you could be so kind and reference my LinkedIn post and ask people to like it.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/clairvoyant-wanted-please-call-07381-anders-boman

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I've written another LinkedIn post and published on my blog:

http://upstreamview.com/

 

 

References

 

Deborah Hurst Shelley MacDougall Chris Pelham, (2008), Aligning personal and entrepreneurial vision for success, Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 2 Iss 4 pp. 367 – 386

 

Kantabutra, S. (2008), What do we know about vision?, Journal of Applied Business Research, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 127-38.

 

Ward, J. L. (2011). How Family Values and Vision Drive Business Strategy and Continuity/Cómo los valores y la visión de las familias dirigen la estrategia y la continuidad de la empresa. Universia Business Review, (32), 26.

I've only skipped through your posts, but they seem good. In my skipping you appear to be writing in an academic style. Lose the footnotes and formalities. It greatly reduces the words, and more is less when writing for the masses. Keep the references up your sleeve in case you're questioned. Why do you think that fishes (sic) die when out of water - see Ward J 2001, p52 etc. 

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much or as little as you like. If you borrow a lot, it would be a great favour for me if you could be so kind and reference my LinkedIn post and ask people to like it.

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/clairvoyant-wanted-please-call-07381-anders-boman

I tried to send you a PM but I think I,ve FU'ed up. I sent a short edit of the first part of your post. 

 

All the brilliant clairvoyants out there have already won the lotto several times in a row and don’t need my payment for their services. 

 

This post is about vision.

 

 It’s a difficult subject to write about, most people think it is important for leaders to have vision. As a society we want politicians with a strong vision for the future, but we often just get slogans instead. What is the difference?

 

A slogan is a simple vision that cannot be realistically explained in detail.

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I've only skipped through your posts, but they seem good. In my skipping you appear to be writing in an academic style. Lose the footnotes and formalities. It greatly reduces the words, and more is less when writing for the masses. Keep the references up your sleeve in case you're questioned. Why do you think that fishes (sic) die when out of water - see Ward J 2001, p52 etc. 

 

Thank you so very much for the advice zaph! I've updated my post with most of your comments.

 

In terms of writing style, I'm at a loss about what to do. I have several purposes for writing publicly:

  • entertain
  • inform
  • challenge
  • learn how to write properly

However, publishing on LinkedIn to reach a wider audience also makes professional perception important. E.g. I wouldn't want to scare a future potential employer by writing mad rants.

 

So I'd like to entertain without being seen as a class clown. Inform backed by quality sources, and challenge with well supported arguments. All this about topics I care about.

 

Maybe this is difficult to do all in one type of blog?

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"E.g. I wouldn't want to scare a future potential employer by writing mad rants."

 

You're talking crazy man! Insane I tells Ya!

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Thank you so very much for the advice zaph! I've updated my post with most of your comments.

 

In terms of writing style, I'm at a loss about what to do. I have several purposes for writing publicly:

  • entertain
  • inform
  • challenge
  • learn how to write properly
However, publishing on LinkedIn to reach a wider audience also makes professional perception important. E.g. I wouldn't want to scare a future potential employer by writing mad rants.

 

So I'd like to entertain without being seen as a class clown. Inform backed by quality sources, and challenge with well supported arguments. All this about topics I care about.

 

Maybe this is difficult to do all in one type of blog?

All you need to do Anders is know what you're talking about. A coherent, well reasoned argument will carry weight with or without references. Though personally I like references they probably slow down the presentation.

Beyond the basics, belief in the product sells it. Very hard to fake though. You must have the zeal of the evangelist. If not find another product.

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