You can leave a lasting legacy if you can get others to strive towards a bright future. We must have the capacity to look beyond current challenges and imagine a higher level or a brighter future. I am convinced that it is easier for most leaders to just try solve the current problems. They often stay in the forest and this daily battle never allows them to dream any bigger. If we are not the future – then who is? We are responsible for leaving the organization in better shape than we found it. This was a principle I learned early in Boys Scouts, which taught to always leave it better than you found it. Vision is a good topic for this blog today.
It is important to communicate a clear vision and to get others excited about it. Often the pace of change limits others from getting on board. It might be expressed by the common line….”we never done it that way before.” Many times when change is required to move towards a new level – it often makes things worst because they are new and unfamilar. People usually want to go back to doing it the old way because it feels more comfortable.
In the Book : 7 habits of Highly effective people by Stephen Covey– there is a principle that says “Begin with the end in mind.” Casting a vision for the future is very important for leaders. Even with the unexpected challenges and advances in technology, people still want leaders to be forward thinking. This is the second highest rated attribute that they want in their leader. This is just behind honesty.
Here are some tips that will help us to become a visionary leader:
- Get everyone involved by asking “what’s next?”
- Set high standards and action steps for the future and accept nothing less
- Ask crucial questions – What’s better than what you’re now doing? Can we think of a better way?
- We must spend less time on current operations and more time on future possibilities
- Employees want to see themselves in the picture of the future that the leader is painting. This is an important element in buy-in.
- No matter what age or level in their career – the power of encouragement and excitement is very important to getting them on board
- You have to see your planning for vision not as a monologue but an opportunity to create dialog.
- If you going to mobilize people to move in a particular direction, then you’ve got to talk about the future destination in ways that your team will find appealing.
What breakthrough innovators and great leaders understand is that all of us want a tomorrow that is better than today. We all must take our responsibility to do our part to make it happen. If we are going to lift them to a higher level of performance, then it’s not the leader’s vision, it’s the people’s vision that matters most. They are hungry for you to lead in the new direction.
So I end by asking – What’s next? for your relationships, job, personal goals and dreams?