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The sixth leadership fundamental

Editor's note: Here is another valuable excerpt from the new success book by national business consultant Laurence B. Valant and partner Gayle W. Hustad, "Lead and Manage! The definitive guide for getting the results you want."

Leadership Fundamental #6 - Formalizing the vision in a written statement

Leaders must understand the power of their vision to impact their company's bottom line. Once the previous leadership fundamentals are defined, it is the job of the CEO or the division leader to formalize, in writing, this vision for the company. This written statement will define quantitatively what success looks like. This formalized statement says, "Here is where we will go. Here is how we will get there."

The leader's written vision must include quantitative deliverables and the broad timing of their accomplishment. Everyone in the organization must be able to understand what is required for the successful completion and implementation of the vision. The deliverables must be quantitative, specific in terms of revenues and include the key metrics.

Guidelines for formalizing the vision statement:

• Broadly state the direction of the company. The strategic plan and business plan will provide the specificity.

• Break the deliverables into five-year periods.

• Provide enough information that others can translate this statement into the tools required to guide the business: the strategic plan, the business plan, the capital budget, and the operating budget.

• Quantify your deliverables so that everyone in the organization can understand and commit to working toward clearly defined goals and objectives.

• Update quarterly. You will constantly gain more information and recognize changes in your target markets and the overall economy. Your formal vision statement must be updated regularly to reflect new insights.

• Use your formal written statement to broadly define the requirements for key management positions as well as business unit leaders and their key direct reports.
o If you are considering a stock option plan, award available shares based on actual incremental residual income performance.


Using the tools I've outlined, those in leadership roles will achieve projected results. Vision. Overarching strategy. Organization. Management Selection. Formalized vision. Compensation strategy. With this leadership foundation, extraordinary performance becomes absolutely possible.

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Laurence B. Valant

Laurence B. Valant is President and CEO of Valant & Co., a Denver-based business performance improvement consultancy that has worked with almost 300 firms to increase their value by billions of dollars. He is co-author of the hot-selling new book, “Make Plan! With Effective Execution” and now, “Lead and Manage!” Valant can be reached at lvalant@valantco.com or at 303-589-3840. If you want more information or would like to order a copy of “Stop Breaking These Rules! 100 Hard-Hitting Truths for Business Integrity and Performance,” please visit www.valantco.com.

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