Economic Development

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Strategic Leadership and Decision Making
A specialist was hired to develop and present a series of half-day training seminars on empowerment and teamwork for the managers of a large international oil company. Fifteen minutes into the first presentation, he took a headlong plunge into the trap of assumption. With great intent, he laid the groundwork for what he considered the heart of empowerment-team-building, family, and community. He praised the need for energy, commitment, and passion for production. At what he thought was the appropriate time, he asked the group of 40 managers the simple question on which he was to ground his entire talk: "What is the vision of your company?" No one raised a hand. The speaker thought they might be shy, so he gently encouraged them. The room grew deadly silent. Everyone was looking at everyone else, and he had a sinking sensation in his stomach. "Your company does have a vision, doesn't it?" he asked. A few people shrugged, and a few shook their heads. He was dumbfounded. How could any group or individual strive toward greatness and mastery without a vision? That's exactly the point. They can't. They can maintain, they can survive; but they can't expect to achieve greatness.
Mapes (1991)
SKY Magazine
Vision is a widely used term, but not well understood. Perhaps leaders don't understand what vision is, or why it is important. One strategic leader is quoted as saying, "I've come to believe that we need a vision to guide us, but I can't seem to get my hands on what 'vision' is. I've heard lots of terms like mission, purpose, values, and strategic intent, but no-one has given me a satisfactory way of looking at vision that will help me sort out this morass of words. It's really frustrating!" (Collins and Porras 1991). To understand vision, clarify what the term means.
One definition of…...

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