10 Leadership Strategies of Visionary Companies
As we pursue our God-given callings, each of us is uniquely gifted with varying circumstances and opportunities. For Christian CEOs and owners to be the best they can be in their life and work, much depends on our faithful and intentional leadership as Christ’s stewards.
Here are 10 ways for Business Owners/CEOs to grow in our leadership ability to build strong, stable companies as we minister to others:
- Cast a worthy vision supported by a clear purpose and difference-making goals.Simply surviving day-to-day by selling, paying our bills, and oﬀering employees a regular paycheck is not always equivalent to driving excellent long-term performance, loyalty, and eternal fruit. When our compelling core ideology provides a reason for doing things beyond a paycheck or financial dividends, our work becomes a cause that carries special significance. Visionary companies believe the world will be a better place, due to their existence. Christian CEOs have the heightened ‘both/and’ challenge of providing high-value products and services to benefit stakeholders while acting on their larger purpose as ambassadors for Christ.
- Adhere to a stable and enduring set of shared core values.Visionary people and firms are built on a foundation of unchanging values that stand up against day-today circumstances, the latest management fad, or the influence of popular business gurus. True vision has enduring power. Such strength stems from underlying core values that serve as shields of protection in all circumstances. For Christians, this comes from God’s revealed Truth as it’s applied in our lives and shapes our plans, decisions, and behaviors. Timeless values aren’t easily modified. Real vision draws us toward it and inspires commitment.
- Operate according to a published plan that provides both long-term and current year direction on along with the ‘invisible hand’ of accountability.An inspiring vision and core ideology alone will surely cause frustration, finger-pointing, and turnover if it’s not accompanied by a strategic plan, annual operating plan, and metrics to bring them to life. If someone joins your team based on your compelling vision and mission, yet sees no action toward making these worthy goals a reality, they’re likely to suffer disappointment and skepticism.
- Exhibit relentless focus based on knowing that our time and opportunity to make things happen under our leadership is today, while the sun still shines!We must lead in such a way that sustains and enables relentless clarity and eﬀort toward our vision and goals. Visionary companies believe in the inherent goodness of their cause and press on even when the going is tough. When we see ourselves as engaged in work that truly matters to our Lord, with our ultimate reward coming from Him, it enables us to persevere and relentlessly pursue our goals.
- Possess an organizational mindset rooted in continuous improvement and dissatisfaction with the status quo.Today’s quality, value, or service to clients are never sufficient to keep us from viewing all of our processes and oﬀerings as works-in-progress. This is done in a positive way (e.g., “That’s really good; now how can we make it even better?”) and parallels the proper attitude of our Christian pilgrimage on this earth. We’re forever thankful for the grace that’s been showered on us and the blessing we’ve experienced by growing closer to our Lord and His Living Word.
- Dedicated to building a team that’s on board, engaged, and committed to the vision.Visionary companies are all about shaping a culture where folks volunteer to operate in alignment with company core principles. They know the kinds of people that will work best in their environment and think clearly about the particular characteristics they seek in their associates. They realize that technical aptitude and skills are prerequisites, but that character traits tell the tale regarding long-term performance. These firms spend significant time and resources to identify finding new recruits. Although not all of their employees and suppliers are Christians, they readily embrace the firm’s vision and values, take personal ownership, and actively help to achieve company objectives.
- Employees are able to articulate and readily promote the firm’s vision, mission, and values.They are aligned well enough to speak with passion and intentionality as ‘evangelists’ for the company and its mission. They love working in an environment that oﬀers a purpose and vision for work that excites them and provides a personal sense of value and worth based on being part of something larger and truly important. They readily speak to others about the company. They’re also our primary source of referrals in identifying new team members and help us to evaluate their prospective peers.
- Team members actively engage in lifelong learning and innovation.In a dynamic, forward-looking enterprise, employees and suppliers enjoy their work in part because they’re encouraged, motivated, and challenged to innovate. By using their talents and gifts in an atmosphere that extends the ‘freedom to fail’ to those working to stretch the company’s capabilities, they’re alert to potential improvements and breakthroughs as they serve internal and external customers.
- Develop a rich reservoir of internal talent that enables key roles to be filled from within.Team members enjoy working for visionary companies that recognize the value of their special culture and are far more likely to cultivate their own talent and fill key openings via internal promotion. This is part of a ‘virtuous cycle’ that feeds the culture by reinforcing and rewarding those who demonstrate their buy-in and commitment over time through actual performance.
- Highly responsive to opportunity when it knocks.Since visionary companies engage the entire team – in being innovative, never satisfied, continually improving, and relentless in pursuing their vision, mission, and goals – opportunities seem to occur more often for them. They kick up a lot of dust in the normal course of doing business, and a lot of on-going opportunity seems to present itself in the process.
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Leading a business can be difficult and as a believer you are committed to balancing financial growth with spiritual growth. C12 provides insightful resources to help business owners and CEOs run successful, Christian organizations. Contact us to join a C12 Group.