Change initiatives; one, several, tens or even hundreds vie for resources, time and attention – concurrently striving to address defensive, offensive, expansion, growth, contraction and improvement pressures.

New ideas, new opportunities, new threats fill Pandora’s Box to the brim…

Vision vs. Reality is one of the more serious types of problems that emanate from opening Pandora’s Box without due care and attention.

Leaders are charged with formulating the overall Vision. More often than not; assumptive, inclusive and/or exclusive envisioning by leadership places projects at a disadvantage from the very first moment an idea or imperative is just a gleam in the leader’s eye!

Leaders are business people first and foremost; projects are a way for them to get the business where they want it to be, when they want it but how to envision correctly and therefore make the project happen as it should is not necessarily what they do well. Hence, gaps and disconnects…

Good, effective leaders separate ‘vision’ from day-to-day operations so that emotion, sympathy and other assorted ‘care and feeding’ influences do not interfere with the decision making process.

The ability to separate ‘what will be in the future’ from ‘what is today’ is a critical leadership quality and, many leaders are very good at doing this.

However, the trouble with this approach is that leaders tend to forget to interlock their ‘vision’ with what really needs to happen in order to make the vision reality and unfortunately; those who the leader trusts to provide a sense of reality cannot or will not voice concerns, for a variety of reasons…

Interlocking vision with reality means that leaders must be attuned to everything that is happening across the organization – what is, what will be, what is happening in between and the inherent gaps, chasms and gulfs that stand between the leader’s vision and reality.

Failure to interlock vision with reality occurs for many reasons and typically results in envisioning that is assumptive or inclusive or exclusionary.

Assumptive or inclusive or exclusionary envisioning is what leads many organizations into uncharted waters.

When such envisioning takes hold, we enter the realm of Jean-Luc Picard on the other Enterprise (pardon the pun). An imperious command: “Make it so…” and the adventure into dangerous, unexplored places begins.

When leadership envisioning spans both organization centric and project centric interests from the very first moment a need, an opportunity or an issue arises; there are far fewer project failures due to disconnects between vision and execution.

If you would like to learn more about the seminar themes I speak to, types of consulting engagements and research that underpins my thinking, feel free to browse my web presence at

John Bolden



John is renowned for value laden advice that stakeholders depend on when assessing the wisdom of investing billions. John’s views and observations enable corporate leaders to ask the right questions, probe problematic answers and avoid surprises.