Below the Belt: On the record

In a downturn, agencies inevitably have a preoccupation with costs, margins and profitability. But agencies need more than a focus on money - they need vision.

Being a visionary leader is neither simple nor automatically accepted by those who must make that vision a reality. "Visionaries are constantly fighting conventional wisdom because they see the world ahead in terms of what it can be if someone is willing to look at things in very different ways." So said John Sculley, the former head of Pepsi and Apple Computers. He also said: "Successful marketing cannot be reduced to a set of quantitative skills or measurements. While such skills may reduce the risks of making a big mistake, they are a poor substitute for true creative vision."

A large part of leadership is actually possessing and selling a vision.

The leader needs a vision of where they plan to take the firm and the ability to dramatise that vision for their workers. Good leaders know their business can only be effective if everyone is moving towards the same vision.

Few people have described the feelings of having a compelling vision for the future better than McDonald's founder Ray Kroc. Visiting a drive-in restaurant owned by the McDonald brothers in California, he became fascinated by their mechanised approach to delivering a limited selection of foods to customers quickly, and entered into a partnership with them in 1954. The road to fame and fortune was a bumpy one, but Kroc said he was able to persevere because the vision for the fast food business remained etched indelibly on his heart.

Speaking of the responsibilities of the visionary leader, marketing guru Theodore Levitt notes: "He has to know where he wants to go and make sure the whole organisation is aware of where that is ... unless he knows where he's going, any road will take him there."

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers