A few months ago I was running a leadership workshop for a local council and got to spend the day working with the executive team to develop their vision for the organisation and the community.
As an icebreaker I always ask each leader in the room to open by sharing their own leadership vision with the group. I’m not looking for a word for word recant of the corporate document, I’m after a clear, concise and visionary and dare I say it inspiring message that comes from the heart. The “litmus test” is simple and I ask the simple question; would I, or others follow this leader based on their vision?
As you might expect the results are mixed, I have worked with some fantastic leaders who have a message that is easily understood, personal and believable, and then there are others who look panicked by the activity and you can see fear set in as they try to recall and recite what is in the plan verbatim.
Leadership is about leading others so in order to be effective – you have to have a vision for something beyond what is now. Effective leaders have what I call the 4 basic fundamentals in place and they can communicate them with conviction on call at anytime, it lives in their heads and their hearts.
The 4 Leadership Fundamentals are:
1. Vision – this is the “I have a dream…” stuff. What can you see for the future as the leader and how is it better?
2. Mission – what are you on a mission to achieve with your team? It’s understanding what your purpose or WHY is!
3. Values – what really matters to you as a leader? People only trust what they understand and knowing someone’s personal values provides great insight and understanding into the person not just the position.
4. Measures – how will you measure success and hold each other to account, and do you know what levers to pull to get the desired results?
For others to follow leaders they have to have a type of confidence that comes from within. Confidence comes from clarity and therefore being clear on your own leadership fundamentals is a great place to start. Leadership is an inside out job, and what I mean by that is if we want to create change in others and in our environment we need to begin with ourselves. If you’re in a leadership role and feel challenged because people wont or don’t follow, then I suggest you start with the basics. With your 4 Leadership Fundamentals in place everything becomes easier for you and the team… I’m not saying it will all be easy… but it will certainly be easier!