"The most elusive and desired quality of leadership is vision.
Vision is the perfume of the mind."
-- Harriet Rubin
"Any man who selects a goal in life which can be
fully achieved has already defined his own limitations."
-- Cavett Robert
A couple nights ago, I watched the movie, The Social Network about the start of facebook. It was a wild ride passion, vision, backbiting, sabotage and focused, furious work toward a grand objective of "the next big thing." I found the movie rather dark, but interesting.
One of the things I noticed about the Mark Zuckerberg character was his vision. His 30% financial partner didn't share the same vision, and frankly was, in my opinion, suggesting a much more limited end result--indeed, and end result that still is playing forward with no end in sight. But Mark saw so much more. He wasn't sure what it was, but he wanted to continue to find out what more that might be. He just knew it was much bigger thing than his partner saw. Consequently, I saw his partner holding him back to protect the smaller, more realistic vision. It was at this point that their partnership changed.
There were numerous opportunities for the partner to remain an integral part, and each one was rejected for a more conservative view. This kind of thing I have seen in my own life from time to time, so it seemed crystal clear to me. I absolutely don't agree with the methods taken, but the handwriting was on the wall.
There were others who got the vision who came in to take the place of those who saw something smaller. I think that will always be the case in a growth business. It wasn't about making money really, it was about doing the thing and doing it big and seeing what can be done and it is still in play and evolving as we speak.
I believe from personal experience of having worked in management of a number of different companies and watching so many more, that the vision of the leader of the enterprise is THE MOST IMPORTANT aspect for company growth, profitability, and expansion. Management is insignificant without it.