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Capturing a Vision
By Carl ToersBijns, former deputy warden, ASPC Eyman, Florence AZ
Published: 02/08/2016

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Much leadership focuses on the administrative principles of management. To say that administrative skills are the most important element of any organization would be foolish if it were not accompanied by a range of similar elements that creep gradually in your mind as you focus on one or the other but rarely all of them at the same time.

As a former correctional administrator, my mind was constantly seeing new visions based on changing needs in the profession. Through my most effective mentors, I learned that vision is the driver of successful planning and actions. One has to develop skills to change a goal, or meaningful outcome so that whatever it is you plan to change, people get excited by it and jump in the game to make it work, grow and spread in order to attain success.

Unfortunately, in many organizations, administration or administrators and policy drive the change. A good leader should avoid allowing policy or administrative principles drive their goals. In order to see a wider perspective, one must trump administrative dominance and allow vision to drive the people’s minds and creativity.

This vision is what bring to light existing or new resources, new ideas and different or improved concepts and technologies. In the excitement, the energy and spirit soars beyond expectations as the environment thrives with growth and shared thoughts or designs. Henceforth, vision should be the organizational umbrella, not policy, as the freedom allowed brings new strategies that impact the very smallest component of the business environment.

Vision brings freshness. Vision brings new players or employees who may have never before engaged or participated in change. Vision bring different light and cast fresh revelations throughout the entire group. Eventually, when the vision develops, other elements must be included to bring it to a reality but vision is the catalyst of all dreams and ideas to make change or improve organizational efficiency.

Vision takes freedom – freedom takes boldness. A visionary person cannot be frightened or scared to perform exploratory tasks. Many will not work with the same light but in harmony, they can support their visions by integrating them with others and gain support all the way to financing their vision.

Vision is more than writing a visionary statement from policy makers. Visionary people need the freedoms to step out of the box and work without worry. Creating visionary statements takes more than meeting once or twice a year. It takes collaborative efforts with hands-on learners teaching others their skills. Visionary people are active and not passive recipients of information and act accordingly as they convey or communicate their ideas as a group with other leaders.

Vision engages and excites people to excel and succeed. It activates them with energy, spirit and makes morale soar to engage endless thinking and inspirational ideas to grow. Without a doubt, these employees cannot be kept inside the box. Their talents and potential contributions are valuable and wasted if squandered. In the opposite field of vision, we create bored and unproductive people who want to engage in change but are denied their opportunity to contribute to the overall success and design of their organization.

One strategy for growing vision is to create teams or focus groups to allow practical and creative ideas to flow. This includes going to different places to see and compare the various technologies and practices used in the business so they can be free to consider alternative thinking by asking the “what ifs” and create a “what to do list” to get the ball rolling.

When you unleash vision you create passion. The focus is to look at, visit, think, dream, inspire and visualize every aspect of the business and innovate the answers or solutions. The investment to build such teams or focus groups stands to show that vision is the driver and not the administration.

Corrections.com author, Carl ToersBijns, (retired), has worked in corrections for over 25 yrs He held positions of a Correctional Officer I, II, III [Captain] Chief of Security Mental Health Treatment Center – Program Director – Associate Warden - Deputy Warden of Administration & Operations. Carl’s prison philosophy is all about the safety of the public, staff and inmates, "I believe my strongest quality is that I create strategies that are practical, functional and cost effective."

Other articles by ToersBijns:



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