When you get into the corporate world, you start hearing buzz words. Some of them you’ll end up using. Most of them (including many of the ones you end up using) will ultimately prove to be silly. But some of them stand the test of time. Just because they stand the test of time, however, doesn’t mean that they’re completely clear, nor does it mean that everyone uses them correctly. A few I’m a fan of include strategy and tactics; and vision and mission.
All four of those are occasionally maligned — and occasionally they deserve to be — but when used properly, they represent powerful tools in your arsenal.
As a leader, it’s critical that you communicate a vision and a mission. I think of these as a hierarchy vision – mission – goal. Where vision is the longest distance, most abstract, and goal is the most immediate and attainable. As a leader, you need to set each of those things in a way such that they align with the same items at the corporate level (you don’t want a team vision that’s in conflict with the corporate vision, for example). The setting of those three things is the cornerstone of your strategy. And as a coach, communicating your strategy is key.
But as with everything, it all comes down to execution. Once you’ve communicated your strategy and gotten your team to buy into it, it’s time to execute at the tactical level. If you don’t have a vision and mission, then no matter how good your tactics, you won’t progress. And no matter how uplifting your vision and mission, if you can’t execute, then they’re not worth s#1t.
If you’re going to spend anytime educating your stuff on the more abstract portions of management, here’s where it should be. Go figure out how to create and communicate a compelling vision and mission. Then execute towards those long term goals.