We all love the stories of the great visionary leaders who forge their way against all odds into a future no one else thought possible. Some people are gifted that way. If that’s you, use that gifting well! Be warned there are pitfalls you’ll need to navigate to avoid being one of the many visionaries who never achieve their vision. While some highly driven visionaries accomplish amazing things, many leave a trail of abused and broken people in their wake. Our goal as leaders is to achieve a future vision AND enable those we lead to reach their full potential. The primary measure of our success as leaders is the success of those we lead.
But what if you’re a leader who lacks that visionary gift? You still have the responsibility to inspire your followers to reach beyond themselves to achieve some as-yet-unrealized future state. Continue reading A Leader’s Vision
Unless you’ve been asleep like Rip Van Winkle (Google it if you’re too young to know the story), you know that change is a constant in today’s world. But just because it’s constant doesn’t mean we’re good at it.
I was sitting in a CEO’s office when he excused himself to take an important call. While he was on the phone, I read through the mission, vision, and values statements hanging on his wall. When he hung up, I asked, “How do these documents influence what happens out there in the office every day?”
All too predictably, he rolled his eyes and chuckled. “Not much.”
By some definitions, Adolf Hitler was a leader. So were Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot. But would you have chosen to follow them?
The most fundamental characteristic of a leader is the presence of followers. You might be a manager or an entrepreneur, but until you have followers, you’re not leading. Continue reading Future-Focused Leadership