Hello Branding Cats,
Leaders are not always managers. Sometimes leaders can be the rookie trying to make a positive impact in a new environment. But to those leaders who happen to be in a higher up position, here is some advice for you: Focus your vision. Don’t just repeat a mantra or tell your employees to read the mission statement. Focus your vision and share it with your company. Vision as a leader is important; a leader without vision is just someone with people behind them. Without vision, your leadership is a temporary figurehead that will be replaced with a new trend, a new idea or any vision for that matter.
When I was in college, I was a part of the MYRA Radio Network, the official internet radio station of the college. When MYRA was founded by a core of energetic and vision-focused students, it flourished. The station broke away from the traditional AM/FM dials and tapped into the unlimited reach of New Media. I was proud to be the host of the classic country show and learned so much about broadcasting and time management from my producer. The station was treated like a legitimate startup, with the school acting as our investor. We had a CEO, as the head of the station with two directors, one for production and promotion. The students didn’t identified as students, this was the launch of their careers. Myself included.
While we all had different goals and reasons for involvement, our vision remained the same. We aimed to bring MYRA to the quality level of Sirius XM, and most of the shows could have made it. Our vision was clear and our worth ethic showed the college their investment was paying off. So, why is it that you know about Sirius but not MYRA? A change in the guard lead to the dimming of the vision.
While the students ran the station, there was one who outranked the students. The overseeing professor who trained officers and called himself the Sheriff of the Station. You might recognize the same archetype in your office, he was ours. He walked into the weekly production meeting and told everyone that started MYRA would no longer be involved. We spent months on developing our programs; hours on editing, producing and hosting our shows and some even years developing the skills to work the switchboards.
When the Sheriff sacked the founders, he brought in new students who didn’t even know MYRA existed. He gave them full range with the condition he’d oversee production,much like he did with us. Three days later he left the school to venture off to be a rock star. Shortly after, with no vision of their own and no way for us to help restore the original vision, MYRA died off into cyber space.
So founders and leaders alike. Keep your vision clear and open with all involved. You never know when you might not be there for your team or company and a complete rookie tries to knock it out of the park but gets struck out. This is why vision is so vital to leaders. The point of leaders is to build more leaders. If the Sheriff would have known that, maybe MYRA would be your favorite podcast station instead of some hobby that the school paid for.