As professional women become leaders in business there are eight key factors they should focus on as they look to develop their own championship team. In this series we will explore all eight, one at a time. To see the previous factor, click here. Championship teams, regardless of the sport in which they perform, have one thing in common. They all begin their seasons with a compelling vision, that of becoming a champion.
It may seem as though the vision for an athletic team is easily spelled out as a result of the industry in which it operates, and it is. But if winning a championship is an obvious vision for an athletic team to adopt, professional women must adopt the same mindset and make the development of a compelling vision an obvious strategy in the leadership of their organization. This is not always the case.
I’ve found there are three typical approaches around an organization’s vision and only one of these is desirable. The first approach is to ignore the strategy of creating a vision and operate without one, making the organization a rudderless ship. The second is to develop the vision but to do so in a vacuum so that few outside of the leadership team involved in its creation are even aware of it. Neither of these approaches is recommended.
Professional women in leadership roles must borrow the one approach that makes championship teams champions. For athletic teams it is a natural outgrowth of the genre, whereas for business and professional organizations leadership needs to make a concerted and consistent effort to make it happen.
The one approach for professional women to emulate from sports teams is ensuring all team members throughout their organization are engaged in achieving the vision. It is easy to achieve this sense of aligned vision in sports, as all involved on an athletic team are on board to move towards the ultimate end result of winning the championship; it is their raison d'être. The team’s leaders want a championship to provide maximum entertainment value to the fans and to increase the value of their business investment. The individual team members want to win the championship to get the "ring" that signifies reaching the pinnacle of their profession as well as the multi-million dollar contracts and endorsements that follow.
In this natural athletic scenario the team’s leadership’s vision is perfectly aligned with those of the players’ due to the shared reason and purpose. Likewise, as professional women begin to set the vision for their organizations it is vital to manifest a similar, yet less natural, scenario and look to create their own organization’s raison d'être.
Aligning an organization’s vision and goals with those of employees in a business takes a concerted commitment to thorough and thoughtful communication from top to bottom. Few leaders make this commitment and even fewer are able to maintain the commitment over time. If professional women want to set themselves apart, committing to being this type of leader is essential. Future articles will more specifically address strategies to do just that.
Written originally for w2wlink.com. For more insights into team leadership for professional women, see weismansuccessresources.com.
w2wlink.com Discussion and Thought Provoking Qestions from the Author: 1. Who is a leader (living, dead, personal experience working with them or a national/international figure) that most inspired you by the compelling Vision & Purpose they put forth? 2. What specifically about their message inspired you? What it what they said? 3. Was there something about how they said it? What made the biggest difference in your inspiration?
president of Weisman Success Resources, is a business coach and consultant specializing in “Creating Championship Teams.” Skip spent 20 years in sports management during which he served as president of five minor league professional baseball teams. Early in his baseball management career he became Minor League Baseball's youngest general manager at the age of 26. Twice his teams were recognized as "Organization of the Year," once each by "The Sporting News" and "Baseball America." Skip currently writes a column for the Hudson Valley Business Journal in his hometown area of Poughkeepsie, New York. He has a b.s. in communications and a master's degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University. See www.weismansuccessresources.com.