Communicating a Vision for the Future

Communicating a Vision for the Future

Candidates, Businessmen Without a Vision of the Future Can’t Win the Future

By Kristen Luciani | The Save Jersey Blog

Chris Christie pointingLast week, I got a coupon in the mail from J.C. Penny for $10 off $25. A-ha! So did CEO Ron Johnson finally learn that offering merchandise at prices that had mark-downs already baked in was not the way to retain existing customers and attract new ones?

Seventeen months ago, expectations were high when Johnson took the helm of a company that needed some revitalization to improve customer perception of quality and expand the current customer base. Since he had such an impressive track record at Apple and successfully engineered their retail strategy, the hope was that he could do the same for J.C. Penny.

In short, Johnson’s “new and improved” sales strategy was bold, risky, but according to the consensus of pundits, also ill-advised, and his failure to rejuvenate the retailer can primarily be attributed to several remarkable missteps. Under his leadership, the company apparently made no effort to test market the new pricing structure, showed no loyalty to the traditional customer base, and didn’t pay heed to a historical operating model that had successfully contributed to profitability year after year. The company’s leadership was short-sighted, without a substantial vision or direction for J.C. Penny, aside from the initial pricing structure modifications.

What went wrong? For starters, successful CEOs or leaders in any context for that matter understand that historical decisions were made for specific reasons and they shouldn’t be discounted because they may not fit in with a new corporate vision. They know that they need to respect the past in order to understand how to build and execute for the future.

As CEO of the Garden State, Governor Christie genuinely tries to communicate his vision and apply it to all walks of life. His intent is to satisfy the needs of the many, not the few, even though his biggest critics would vehemently disagree. He recently held his 105th town hall since he took office. Executives at every company on earth should follow his example and try to incorporate that level of transparency into the development of their strategic goals and further, how they are disseminated to employees. Like him or not, he’s always out there, ready to share his thoughts and plans for the future, ready to seek and address feedback that he receives. And he doesn’t stop at the delivery of the message; no, he is equally focused on the execution.

Conversely, Barbara Buono has not yet recognized that she won’t be successful during this election season without a solid vision and direction for the state of New Jersey.

She has yet to tell voters anything of value related to her agenda, if elected. Instead, she focuses all of her energy on highlighting Christie’s opposing stance on social issues. That seems to be where she draws her perceived strength, Save Jerseyans. And quite frankly I’m a little tired of hearing her attacks on Christie for not supporting gay marriage. Is that all she’s got in her arsenal? Clearly! His record speaks for itself. Christie tells us where he sees New Jersey headed and then he explains how we are going to get there. He is pragmatic, purposeful and forward-thinking. She….is the opposite. But watch out cause she’s got a secret weapon, none other than her pal Cory “Story” Booker. And her first order of business? TWEETING, of course.

Those without a vision for the future ultimately lack a future, Save Jerseyans!

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