Key Skills For #Meded Leaders: Developing A Shared Vision

By Felix Ankel (@felixankel)

 “A vision not shared is a hallucination.”

Medical education is moving from a linear to an exponential world. For #meded leaders of the future to be successful, they must transition from a linear to a non-linear leadership style.  Rather than relying on linear leadership staples of the past such as positional and informational power, #meded leaders of the future will need to develop mastery of systems competencies such as managing resilience, complexity, and context.

One of the key skills of leading complexity is  alignment. The most defining characteristic of a successful leader is the ability to create a shared vision to drive alignment.

According to Kouzes and Posner, there are several challenges to this:

  1. Many new leaders are promoted into their new position based on managerial expertise and have not had a previous opportunity to create a shared vision.
  2. Many leaders overemphasize their own individual prescience and do not spend enough time enlisting others. (the “shared” part of the vision)
  3. Many leaders do not spend enough time envisioning and enlisting others because of the challenge of urgent operational matters.

Why is developing a shared vision so important? A shared vision often leads to organizational support. Organizational support is critical to execution.

Leadership is a discipline rather than a task and one that grows with self-reflection. The next time you find yourself without the organizational support for your desired vision, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Did I spend enough time envisioning bold and creative possibilities?
  2. Did I spend enough time enlisting others in developing a vision that is shared?

What other advice do you have in developing a shared vision? We would love to hear from you.

Katherine Hyatt, “The Influence of Vision on Perceived Organizational Support,” Kravis Leadership Institute, Leadership Review, Vol. 11, Spring 2011, pp. 157-170

 Image from KROMKRATHOG. via