Mission or/and vision are attributes of human ideas and behavior, which have produced both great leaders and hated dictators.
You have one or more ideas, which you are very passionate about and you want to pursue same to change performance or make a visible difference to people or organization.
Example 1 –
Your organization is known as a Product Company and your mission is to change its image to Solutions Providing Company.
(-) Due to strong lobby, you are afraid or averse to change marketing and sales organizations of product groups. You worry to lose stand-alone market share of products. All that you do is to start massive and costly advertising campaign that you are also a solution providing company!
(0) You entrust task of selling solutions to your 1 or 2 groups for Industries and Utilities systems and ask them to package the products into their offerings, if customers specify so! You do not touch product organization. You also make acquisition of some smaller systems companies, which are selling solutions, to send a signal to market that you do mean to sell solutions.
(+) You completely revamp and restructure marketing and sales set up of your products and systems, create single organization to sell and execute large to small solutions as well as all products, abolishing matrix structure in front offices. At one stroke, you would create a single face to customer, at the same time effect massive saving on man power.
Example 2 –
Like most organizations across world, you have more than 95% male dominated management team and decide to drive fair representation say at least 25% to females.
(-) You feverishly promote female employees from within and not finding enough internally, recruit more from outside, compromising the merit; but increase some % points of female managers. You also create a major ripple to male members.
(0) You pick those pockets, which have more population of female members in your organization and institute a special program for career growth and put a policy measure of replacing outgoing male management members by only female to reach your target.
(+) You first look deeper and recognize that there is shortage of female management executives in market and then, put 3 pronged strategy directly under your supervision – (a) detailed process of screening existing female employees, who exhibit potential and preference to get to top management position and institute special development program for them (b) Recruit competent female aspirants from outside and (c) target female students of good colleges 1 year before they graduate, do a thorough screening who have clear competence and choice to get in “management role” in preference over “professional cum house wife role” and fund their higher management or MBA studies. After that, get them into your company and put them of a fast track of development and opportunities. You aim to fill at least 5% of your management positions through this option every year.
Considering above leanings, following would be the styles of your leadership:
(-) Pushing your mission ignoring ground realities and holding strong convictions of your own would make you a Disruptive Leader.
(0) Your belief that the change is good, though you are cautious in your execution, would make you a Change Leader.
(+) You put strong faith in your mission and do not want it to be a failure or a fiasco. You choose a well thought-out path and show courage to take tough but sound decisions. This makes you a Transformational Leader!
Vision is about your ideas how you want your organization to shape in future in terms of “organic or inorganic or both types” of growth, its constitution or market served.
Your company ranks say 3rd position in terms of market share in the field it operates; but has proven products. Your vision is to make your company market leader i.e. rank 1 in 5 years.
(-) You decide to take 2nd ranked competitor head on and eat into his market share. You increase your sales force substantially and decide to undercut prices to win customer orders. You firmly believe that by winning more customers, becoming no. 2 and then, no.1 leader, you can dictate terms and fetch a better price from customers to recoup the losses you would incur in the initial years. Company can afford it financially.
Despite your good intentions, your company gets into serious financial troubles and start losing market share!
(0) You decide to cut down input costs of manufacturing, implements lean manufacturing and efficiency measures, apart from strengthening sales organization. This way, you are able to offer your products at lower prices and gain market share; but struggles for the top slot.
(+) Despite having proven products, you hold extensive discussions with your customers how they want these products to be in future, draw a road map and start to revamp these completely, innovate new products and new features in existing ones, make them far more customer friendly to operate etc. These click with customers, who do not mind to pay a small premium. You continue this practice to inch towards top slot.
Your leadership style would emerge as:
(-) When your mind is closed and rigid, you would not realize that you have a vision, which is flawed. You do not listen to anyone else’s wise counsel either. This makes you a Disastrous or Authoritarian Leader.
(0) When you have a vision, sound approach and a strategy, though not revolutionary or radical, you become a Strategic Leader.
(+) When your vision is bold, you are not risk averse and passion is innovation, you would be an Innovative and Influential Leader.
Great leadership quality emerges when you have mission (+) and vision (+); it is popularly known as Narcissistic Leadership (actually, productive prefix is used here; since there is also an opposite). Many famous people were/are Productive Narcissist like Mahatma Gandhi, Franklin Roosevelt, Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs etc.
Mission (-) and vision (-) would make Destructive Narcissistic Leader like Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein etc.
Another important leadership style emerges from mission (+) and emotion (+) i.e. Compassionate Leader like Mother Teresa, Florence Nightingale etc.