Robert T. Yokl

“Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.” Warren Bennis

You might think that great leadership is some superhuman activity, but it is really translating a vision into reality as author, scholar, and organizational consultant Warren Bennis has come to believe. Jeff Bezos envisioned Amazon as an online general store; Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, believed investing in creative content, international expansion, and technological innovation was the ticket to Disney’s success; Apple’s late and great CEO Steve Job’s vision was to create products with incredible benefits for Apple’s customers. I’m going to guess that you would agree that all three of these individuals have effectively translated their vision into reality.

Great leadership starts with a vision – you need to know where you are going before you can lead others to follow you there. You need insight into your business in order to envision your supply chain organization’s future state. This is best accomplished with a strategic plan which has the following five elements:

1. Perform SWOT Analysis to determine your supply chain organization’s (SCO) strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

2. Define your SCO’s mission, which is the purpose your SCO exists.

3. Define your SCO’s vision, which is a description of what your SCO will look like when it is successful.

4. Identify the goals and objectives that are necessary to meet your new or refined vision and mission.

5. Develop an implementation schedule with timelines to measure the achievement of your goals and objectives.

In reviewing other strategic planning models I see that some have added steps to clarify strategic issues and clarify activities, etc. which can broaden your strategic planning process. However, I have provided the basics herein so you don’t need to get bogged down in the details. The purpose of this exercise is to provide you with the insight that is necessary to formulate your own SCO’s vision over the next few years. In doing so, you will be able to become a great leader when you translate your vision into reality. Good luck as you move down this path to greatness with the wind to your back.