Leadership: How clear is your vision? A simple task.

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I’ve been reflecting a lot about leadership recently.  One simple question that I would ask any leader is how clear your vision is.  A vision can be summed up in a logo and quite often a statement or motto.  The question is: does everyone know what the organisation stands for?

Over the past week, I’ve put a badge in the middle of some paper, together with motto, and asked staff and students to annotate the image with what it means to them.  They do this without collaboration.  I’m not going to share the actual badge and logo that I did this with, but here are some interesting observations:

  • Young people gave a more coherent response than adults.  Students views were similar to each other, but I wonder if this is still the ‘give the answer they want’ coming through;
  • Adult responses shared very coherence when the vision wasn’t clear;
  • There was little match between young people and adults.

This makes me reflect on the purpose of school badges and mottos.  They need to speak to the whole community and their significance needs to be shared widely, although they still need to be easily interpreted.  With Priory Geography there are a few features that I like to include on our clothing:

  • Our full names. I really don’t see the problem in young people knowing my first name – it’s what most people who respect me call me.
  • Often, our twitter handle will be included or replace the name to reflect the department looking outward and being about innovation.

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