Leading with Vision

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 leadershipLeading 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 classroomLeading 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.