Leading with Vision
Kenneth Haddad and Jessica McCawley
Strategic thinking for any individual, business, or industry must begin with a vision. Think of a vision as an outcome you would like to see sometime in the future. Strategically, a vision should be well defined and clear enough to create a path for accomplishment. President John Kennedy’s 1961 vision of seeing a man on the moon within the decade is an excellent example. Simple and clear, it was a visionary challenge at a time when man was just entering space and the thought of putting a man on the moon in such a short time period did not appear in most people’s wildest dreams. President Kennedy created a vision; he charted a path for technology development and daring risk, which led to tremendous success, a man on the moon in 1969. Just about everything the space program did in that eight-year period contributed to achieving that well-articulated vision.
Where are those visions in fisheries? The management, use, and conservation of our freshwater and saltwater fisheries have not had meaningful visions to create a path to the future. Strong and inspirational visions are an absolute requirement in the 21st century, and a vision should always recognize that fisheries resources are a public trust resource to manage for future generations. We believe that fisheries professionals need to be better equipped to think strategically and have the skills to develop clear visions. Curricula for college and graduate level fisheries professionals should prepare students to become visionary leaders.