by Bonnie Hagemann, Simon Vetter, & John Maketa
It's one thing to "enjoy" a book, it's quite another to "engage" with it. I engaged with Hagemann, Vetter, and Maketa's Leading With Vision: The Leader's Blueprint for Creating a Compelling Vision and Engaging the Workforce. As a vision practitioner and professor, I thought this book was fantastic on so many levels: research, examples, theory, and practice.
As to my own leadership, Leading With Vision made me pause, reflect, and reorient my thinking time and again. I interact with my books, so highlighting, underlining, margin notes, and circling are the norm for me. That said, I outdid myself -- ink flows -- a testimony to all the implications/applications for my context. Leading With Vision is proving to be the book that is most impacting my leadership in this season.
As to the classroom, Leading With Vision is "research-strong" without being "research-boring." The authors stated: "we hope it feels more like we are sitting around the kitchen table together than sitting in a classroom" (xix). It did. My experience is that most students would trade those seats any day.
Read the book. Study the book. Learn from the book. I sure did. Leading With Vision delivers on its promise to explain what it means -- in practice -- to lead, inspire, and engage people with a vision and purpose while exploring the qualities one needs to succeed. Obviously, this is not the be all end all when it comes to vision, but it is a solid text for anyone who wants to get better at leading with vision.
There are so many reasons to read Leading With Vision, here are five:
1. Takeaways: The authors conclude each chapter with key takeaways; at times summary statements, at times application questions/exercises to ponder. Very helpful.
2. VUCA: The authors re-introduce this acronym for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous, then demonstrate how great vision addresses and overcomes the challenges of a VUCA environment.
3. Gen Y: The authors made a compelling case for necessity of assessing and addressing millennial in the workforce, both the Why and the How. Excellent.
4. Communication: The authors provide excellent insights into communication in general and communicating vision in particular. This is "doable stuff."
5. Blueprint: The Authors deliver on "The Leader's Blueprint" part of creating a compelling vision and engaging the workforce, though I felt the latter was stronger than the former.