One of the best lessons I have learned is the impact and importance of leadership. It is so easy to identify dysfunctional leadership in a company (or of a governmental entity!). Many times, the common misconception is that the executives in the "ivory tower" sit around and relax, while the "workers" do all the work. Of course, happy and motivated employees are essential to a company (I still teach that in seminars that I conduct). But I have observed and learned that it is the leadership in an enterprise that makes the difference … and that is not exclusive to commerce.
I am an avid devotee of Right Action, and I believe it is the umbrella for everything worthwhile in life, in our endeavors and, in my opinion, a solemn responsibility of every human being. Power comes not from dictatorship but from respect, logic and compassion … all given by and returned to a quality leader. The substance of any situation is, of course, important … but what makes any enterprise function well, easily, profitably and with verve and passion is people working together. That is when Spirit is at its best, when respect and honor are not just words and when a truly great company shines in daylight and in darkness. For many years, I counseled and taught this very principle. I gave a seminar called "The Magic of People" in which I taught the value and wisdom of "people first." It is the essence of leadership.
Vision is extending ideas, sometimes simple ideas, "outside the box" and creating a new, really new, thought. The person who conceived of eBay is a good example of this … they thought that the internet had in it, as a part of its intrinsic nature, some characteristic that would fit some human need that was not yet conceived. They thought about many commonplace human endeavors and matched them up with internet capabilities … and, yes, they came up with the activity "auction" and realized that the net was an ideal vehicle to carry that concept. This venture capitalist took the idea and translated it into action. It was a billion dollar idea!
Not to veer from the point here, it is essential for the leader to constantly be projecting, envisioning, visualizing … that is the root of entrepreneurial genius. Of course an action plan is required … but only after the leader has set the stage for the performance.