Vision in Leadership
Successful leadership always begins with vision. Eleanor Roosevelt foresaw a world of equal opportunity for both women and minorities. A vision is a picture of something in the mind of an individual, which he or she dreams of. It is the projected future for an organization (Baum et al, 1994). It is the place that one desires to be in the future. Leaders have visions and this vision is permeated in the workplace, and portrayed in the actions, values, beliefs and goals of that company (Landsberg, 2011).
This paper highlights a discussion of an interview with two ranch managers and their characteristics as vision leaders with regards to taking of risks and adaptability to change.
Anthony and Ephraim are both managers of two different ranches. Anthony is the manager of the Morning Star ranch while Ephraim manages the Villa ranch. The Morning Star Ranch covers 30 acres of land. The ranch provides home to three thousand horses and ten dogs. The ranch has a hundred ranch hands, meaning that every ranch hand is allocated to 30 horses. The Villa Ranch on the other hand, sits on 22 acres of land that hosts two hundred horses. The ranch has eighty ranch hands with each allocated to approximately 30 horses. The Morning Star Ranch spends averagely $100,000on salaries and expenses. For the capital investments, The Morning Star Ranch gets makes about $550,000. Based on budgeted expenses and returns, The Morning Star Ranch is more profitable. Anthony has worked for thirteen years and has stayed in the ranch for the last eight years. He began working as a foreman at the ranch. Ephraim on the other hand, has been working at The Villa Ranch for five years.
Decision making is important for both Anthony and Ephraim. They both take the process of decision making very seriously. Whenever there are uncertainties on the best way forward, Anthony often involves his subordinates to assist him in making decisions. He believes in the power of collective management especially when he is faced with making tough decisions. Ephraim does not believe in participative decision making in a company. When faced with difficult decisions, he often researches before making conclusions. He spends several days conducting assessments on the situation and making comparisons to previous situations. Sometimes, Ephraim does his research online.
Ephraim agrees that working as a ranch manager was initially challenging. Since he did not have experience any experience of working at a ranch before becoming the manager, He has been able to learn so much throughout the years. However, he is open to change and can adapt to change. He has been able to adapt quite fast to being a Ranch manager and within five years, Ephraim knows so much. He has adopted to use of new technology with ease around the ranch and digitalized a lot of things. For instance, the ranch has a computer center where every hand’s information about the horses is fed on a daily basis. On the other hand, Anthony is rigid to change. He likes running things in the similar ways he has always done. He argues that running things the same way makes it easy for him to predict outcomes. He finds change to be sort of a nuisance that slows down activities at the workplace. Anthony thus, tries very hard to keep things the same way in the ranch.
A leader should be certain before making a decision. This is because, if they are not sure, they could misguide their subordinates and lead the overall organization into failure (Baum et al, 1994). Both ranch managers should be sure of the decisions that they make. Any mistake in their decisions might cause adverse effects with regards to the competitive advantage and market share of the organization. A wrong decision could make the ranch to lose its competitive advantage and market share. Besides, it could also impact bankruptcy or significant cut on the profits. Hence, both Anthony and Ephraim need to be cautious before making final decisions.
A perfectionist like a high achiever tends to set high goals and work hard towards their achievement. A perfectionist will accept nothing less than perfection and ‘almost perfect’ is viewed as failure (Marquardit et al, 200). Ephraim is very critical in his view. He tends to see imperfections and mistakes in the activities of his subordinates. He works on them and is more judgmental on failure. However, he sets realistic standards for his employees and does not expect them to produce impossible results. On the other hand, Anthony has certain element of perfectionist in him. He is result oriented and works towards the achievement of objectives. He strives to avoid failure. However, he is rigid to change and not very risk oriented. He is very cautious in making plans and acting on them. He would rather be on the safer side than putting anything at risk. Ephraim is quite adventurous in nature, therefore a risk taker. He abodes by the motto, ‘’nothing ventured, nothing gained.’’
Anthony tends to imagine both the favorable and unfavorable results of his decisions. In this way, he does not jeopardize the stake of his ranch. Though risk taking can sometimes be irresponsible, Anthony tries to take responsibility for all his actions. On the other hand, Ephraim never has to risk anything around his ranch, thus, does not have to take responsibility whenever things fail to take the right course.
Both Anthony and Ephraim are leaders with admirable traits. They have both outdone themselves. While Anthony is inflexible and likes to play it safe, Ephraim is more adventurous and likes to take risks. The management style applied by Anthony might ensure short term survival of the ranch while Ephraim’s risk taking attitude will ensure that he attains long term survival of his ranch.
Baum, J. A. C., & Singh, J. V. (1994). Evolutionary dynamics of organizations. New York: Oxford University Press.
Landsberg, M. (2011). The Tools of Leadership: Vision, Inspiration, Momentum. London: Profile
Marquardt, M. J., & Berger, N. O. (2000). Global leaders for the twenty first century. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.