Leadership is a term that can mean a wide range of things to people. What does it mean to you? Who have been powerful leaders is your world? Who has created powerful vision for the organizations you’ve been a part of? Who has inspired the individuals within that organization to implement and move that vision into action?
Leadership encompasses a wide range of skills, but envisioning a powerful and inspiring path to focus an organization is a key component. But why is this not enough?
Establishing a vision, like all goals or great intentions, needs follow up and nurturing. This is where it gets a little trickier. It takes the engagement of the whole organization or at least a substantial part of it to bring it into fruition. What can a leader do to create the climate for this to happen?
- Beat the visionary drum. Repeating the vision, communicating it over and over in ways that truly inspire and engage people is necessary. A single pronouncement or publishing of that vision isn’t enough. It’s the repeat conversations about what it means on a daily basis that begin to create integration. Challenging the vision, practicing it, tweaking it and discussing it as experience is gained can enhance any brilliant idea.
- Allow it to morph. Vision is only as fresh and perfect as in the moment it is created, no matter how inspired it feels. Allowing the vision to have integrity, but change as circumstances evolve can give it longer life and allow for it to have true impact on an organization.
- Engage the next level of leadership to embody it, and inspire their teams to do the same. It is the ‘walking the talk’ at numerous levels of a business that create a real change. Hold yourself and your teams accountable for continuing to move towards the vision, while allowing them to make mistakes and get back on track. It’s an organizational skill to learn from mistakes in a healthy way and move on to do things better the next time.
- Revisit the organization’s progress, celebrate the wins and feed the beast. All things require sustained focus to be fully developed and vision is no different. Evaluate progress in part by watching for success. The attention to success and where things are going right aids the process and gives you opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate them.
While leading vision for an organization is not the only task of a leader, it is a powerful place worthy of attention and nurturance. Outlining a path for success requires cultivating focus on that vision for the long haul while inspiring a team to engage and implement it.