Recently, the president of the leadership and talent division of a large executive recruiting firm described his vision for his organization. He wanted them to be “the Tiffany of talent or the McKinsey of leadership.” He went on to say, “We’re going to take it one leader, one company at a time. We’re going to drive improvement and change everywhere we go and make as big a dent in the world of leadership and in overall performance as we can.”
Let’s break this “vision” down, shall we?
“…the Tiffany of talent…”
Snazzy alliteration notwithstanding, what exactly does that mean? High quality? High priced? Tiffany Blue t-shirts?
“…or the McKinsey of leadership.”
I’m pretty sure McKinsey would say they are the McKinsey of leadership. And why abandon the alliteration? Might I suggest the “Lamborghini of leadership”?
My real problem is with the “or”. Generally speaking, a vision statement should be clear, concise and aspirational. Adding an “or” makes me wonder: Is this guy suggesting that it could be one or the other? Or is he not sure how this will turn out? Either way, it’s hardly compelling.
“We’re going to take it one leader, one company at a time.”
Using “We’re” would imply that the organization will only be working with one leader and company, presumably until that leader and company are “done”, before moving on to the next leader and company. That’s a pretty interesting business model. Wonder what the per-leader cost is…
“We’re going to drive improvement and change everywhere we go and make as big a dent in the world of leadership and in overall performance as we can.”
Starts out well, right? But then it takes an unfortunate turn. First of all, I doubt the world of leadership wants to be dented. But putting aside the literal, the president seems to be implying that even as they drive improvement and change, he realizes that the best they can hope for is to simply “make a dent”. I applaud the truthfulness, but it’s hardly the aspirational tone one would expect in a vision statement.
By the way, this fellow has a doctorate in industrial/organization psychology from the University of Tulsa. I suspect his doctoral thesis was not on the power of vision statements.
At least, I hope not.
Today’s Fact Cetera
A Chinese toothpaste called S.O.D. promises to “brush away senility.”