Washington: Vision, Strategy, & Execution

22 05 2010

Based on Rick Warren’s advice to follow a couple of models (and that your models be dead).  I’ve decided George Washington to be one worth following.  Because of this I’m listening to an audio book on George Washington and I’ve noticed three areas in which he excelled: vision, strategy, & execution.

It seems in our world there is a lot of vision.  I know I throw my fair share of vision out there.  I may even toss in some ideas for the strategy but as far as the execution of a program goes I’m found wanting.  I’m not sure why this is.  I’m not necessarily lazy, I work hard and don’t mind it.  But I really enjoy staying in the vision and strategy circles and letting someone else perform the execution of the process.  This is why, I know how to excercise, know the vitamins you need to take in order to succeed, the foods to eat, and when to eat them.  But as far as being in the shape I should be with the knowledge I have, I’m no where close.  Great leaders not only have the vision and assist in the strategy, but they also lead the charge in the execution.

I belive it would be beneficial for me to interject another characteristic, for those natural “doers” who have no problem executing.  Washington could compromise with the best of them.  He understood slavery not to be the most beneficial form of industry, not because it was morally wrong, but because he found that men worked harder and with more purpose when they were free.  Vision, strategy, & execution can not be all you, it must be a combined effort.  To ignore this is to quickly lose those who are doing with you.




4 responses

23 05 2010
Darren Poke

Great leaders also have the skill to articulate the vision to others so that they get on board.

Good luck with executing your plan and getting people alongside you to assist.

Thanks for posting,



23 05 2010
Mason Stanley

Darren, you’re exactly right, thanks! From what little i’ve learned so far about Washington people took notice of what ever he said because he was so reserved. A few excellent words alwasys beat out many average words.

23 05 2010
RC of strangeculture

Interesting thoughts — including the initial one from Warren from chosing a model.

I’d certainly be interested in seeing how this modeling plays out…as in…once you chose a model, when does this modeling impact your life — I’d definitly would enjoy you sharing this!

24 05 2010
Mason Stanley

Great question! The complete thought from Warren is that you should have a couple of models, mentors, and peers in your life that help you as you proceed through it. He goes on to suggest that your models be dead. I believe he does this for multiple reasons: there is more information available about them (especailly for major characters), you also know how the story ends (meaning you aren’t worried about modeling yourself after a person who, while following them, is caught in a grevious scandal).

As for when this modeling impacts your life, I would assume immidiately after initial research in which you find patterns which contribute to your subject’s success. For example, there wasn’t just one instance in which Washington cast vision, assisted in the strategy, and then led the way in execution, there were multiple occurances. Enough, that by chapter 9 in the current book I’m going through I could see that character quality. There are others that I have noticed but none that stuck out to me as much as this one. For one, being that I am more sensitive to my lacking in this area, as well as my desire to improve it. However, that is the great part about this process, I’m not finished after one book. So that as I study and pry into the life of Washington, and the other areas in which he is worth emulating, I can add to my list of qualities to copy or atleast acknowledge my lacking (if any) and work towards.

I hope this answers you question, if not feel free to share how it does not and what you were specifically wanting.

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