Last week you were introduced to the leadership template – the foundation to high impact and influential leadership of the 21st century. This week we’re exploring the first critical component of the Leadership template, which is vision. Vision is often spoken about and is something that is definitely necessary but what sort of vision do successful leaders need?
Vision – clarity on your why, your future, your goals and the plans that will help you get there. Where are you leading your people and why should they follow you?
There is no better example of a leader who had vision than Martin Luther King jnr. On the 28th August 1963, at the age of 33, Martin Luther King jnr delivered his ‘I have a Dream’ speech. It was a defining moment in the Civil Rights Movement and is one of the most inspirational demonstrations of leadership of our time. He created an infinite legacy of hope that continues today.
Martin Luther King jnr had an enormous vision; he demonstrated incredible courage, given the deeply seated racist times; and he created a movement towards equality. He inspired hundreds of thousands of people to believe in his dream and what was possible for America. He did this through the power of his words. There wasn’t an email marketing campaign to support him, nor was there any social media to get the word out. It was through pure confidence in his conviction and his ability to inspire that he achieved what he did. This in itself is proof of what you are capable of when you have a clear and compelling vision, and when you understand ‘why’ you are doing what you are doing.
A vision inspires action. It is a magnet for ideas, people and other resources. It creates energy and the will to make change happen. It inspires individuals and organisations to commit, to persist, and to give their best. It’s powerful when communicated with conviction and when it’s connected to your core – your ‘why’. When you believe in your vision and are connected to it’s purpose then anything is possible and you will inspire the right people to follow you.
Ask yourself these critical questions:
- What is the vision you have for your leadership? Is it relevant?
- What is at the core of your leadership?
- Why are you leading people in a particular direction and why should they follow? This is critical when you are leading millennial – they want to know.
- What is the vision for your culture?
- What are your goals and do you have a clear strategy to get you there?
Jon Graham says, ‘A vision is a mental picture of the result you want to achieve, a picture so clear and strong it will help make that result real. A vision is not a vague wish or dream or hope… It comes from the future and informs and invigorates the present.’
In times like what we are experiencing now, where things are complicated, people are distracted and the focus is on now, now, now – we need someone with the ability to disrupt our thoughts, help us to look up and forward towards the future and pave the way through chaos and confusion. This is the opportunity you have as a leader. A clear vision is the first step in creating a solid leadership template that you can then leverage.