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Why does 3×5 Leadership exist? While you read this post, I encourage you to think of a similar question in the back of your mind: “why does my organization or group exist?” While establishing the blog’s own new vision and goals, this post also addresses ways you can put these ideas into action in your own lives.

Organizational vision statements and goals (as well as shared values) are important aspirational components that create meaning and purpose for “stakeholders.” 3×5 Leadership stakeholders, for example, are the committed readers who carve out their time to read the blog’s content. These statements (vision, goals, values) also serve to help people understand why the organization exists, how it intends to make a difference in the world, and what the important beliefs are that drive and connect the people within and external to the organization.

So, why does 3×5 Leadership exist? Here is the new 2018 inspiring vision and intended goals for the blog.

3×5 Leadership Vision

3×5 Leadership is the foremost digital leader development resource for anyone looking to leverage leadership to improve their life.

Who 3×5 Leadership Communicates to

  • Military Tactical leaders
  • Emerging organizational leaders in any industry
  • Anyone who has a leadership role in their life

3×5 Leadership Goals

  • Leader growth occurs daily, not in a day: inspire leaders to commit to regular and deliberate self-development
  • Equip leaders with effective tools and behaviors to improve their transformational influence in life and work
  • My experiences are singular, but the lessons from them are not: share my Leader experiences to help others in their Leader growth journey
  • Expand leaders’ pool of resources by providing a robust leader development resource page
  • Grow the digital leader development community & maximize experiential lesson sharing through incorporating guest blog posts
  • Leaders are readers: enable leaders’ growth through reading with the Bookshelf resource [coming April 2018]

So What

Being your foremost digital leader development resource is an immensely lofty vision and it means taking 3×5 Leadership to the next level. That requires me to bring readers the most valuable and relevant content possible. With that, 3×5 Leadership is also bringing new resource initiatives in 2018 to make this digital leader development platform more dynamic and beneficial for readers. Initiative ideas include the 3×5 Leadership “Bookshelf” resource to encourage and educate readers on professional reading and “Leader Challenge” short video clips encouraging leader behavior growth.

How You Can Create and Use a Vision & Goals

Are you in a group or organization with a defined mission or task, and formal lines of authority (such as platoon leader, company commander, manager, director, etc.)? Then you need to create a shared vision statement, goals, and values. You exist for a reason and it is important to clearly define why. Here are some thoughts on creating organizational vision, goals, and values statements:

  • They must be shared. You cannot effectively dictate a vision and goals to your people because they won’t buy in to it. It cannot be “Josh’s vision and goals for our organization.” If you create these together with them, allowing them the opportunity to offer ideas and be part of the process, their intrinsic motivation and commitment to these ideals will multiply.
  • They must be inspirational. A vision is not a list of services or tasks. It is the reason you exist and something people can rally around.
  • They must be lofty and far reaching. The vision and goals must frame long-term aspirations and an enduring process. Do not think within the context of a 3-month quarter or one year; think big. What is going to inspire commitment from others years down the road? What does my organization look like 5 or 10 years from now?
  • Goals should be SMART. A personal or organizational goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
  • How are we assessing progress? Come back to the vision and goals routinely to assess progress in achieving them. Are we on track? Are we doing things not aligned with these statements? Do we need to revise our goals? Determine appropriate reassessment windows for your organization and people (quarterly, semi-annually, annually, etc.). Do these assessments with your people to allow them to share from their perspective.
  • Tie the vision and goals to everything you do. Lofty, far reaching, and inspirational does not mean so abstract that your people cannot relate to the statements. Make sure your people can tie their daily actions to your organizational statements. What is the point if they can’t? Also, if you are introducing change to the organization or some new training in the future, communicate to your people how it ties to the vision and/or goals.
  • Make it nested. Chances are we are all not leading at the top-of-the-organizational-chart level. We are still subordinate to higher headquarters and bosses. Ensure your vision and goals are nested within your larger organizational strategy, mission, purpose, and intent.
  • Consider shared values. Finally, consider making a list of shared values in conjunction with the vision and goals. What do we value as a group or organization? What values guide our behavior and ethical standards? Though I don’t think values are necessarily beneficial for the 3×5 Leadership blog, it is highly necessary for a professional organization and group.

Your group or organization size does not matter. For example, you might be a platoon leader of a small 20-Soldier formation and this will still be an immensely effective tool to inspire your team members, achieve buy-in from everyone, and encourage esprit de corps. By making these “shared” ideas and statements, it gives your people something to rally around and a sense that they are part of higher purpose. These statements form the basis of everything you and they do; your people will be (should be) encouraged to execute their day-to-day tasks because they see how it ties to the larger purpose.

I challenge you to try this out with your people. Research vision statements and values of successful businesses via Google searches to get helpful ideas and inspiration (Amazon, Netflix, Google, Apple, etc.). My personal favorite example is the United States Military Academy’s (USMA) vision statement: “West Point is the preeminent leader development institution in the world.” Talk about lofty and inspirational, yet realistic and actionable.

Good luck and I would love to hear how this works out for you and your organization! Feel free to email me at 3x5leadership@gmail.com and let me know!

These thoughts are my own and do not reflect that of the United States Military Academy, US Army, Department of Defense, or any other referenced organization.


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2 Comments

  1. Great thoughts, Josh. I’d recommend two different HBR articles for anyone further interested – “What leaders really do” by John Kotter, and “Building you company’s vision” by Collins and Porras. Both touch on this significantly. I’m still wrestling with how an Army leader can make audacious 10-30 year visionary goals that stick in an organization with turnover as high as that of a tactical level organization. Ostensibly, a Chief of Staff of the Army can do this for the entire strategic component, but the difference is singularity of mission/focus. I’d love anyone else’s thoughts on the matter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, JJ! I look forward to checking out those resources. I’m still learning about thinking and acting strategically as a leader, no matter what level I’m currently serving at; that really involves creating and living out org vision.
      I’m actually looking to create a vision 2.0 blog post in the coming months too to further share what I’m still learning on the matter and how we can all get better at this idea of org. Vision.
      I appreciate the support, brother!

      Like

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