Leader, show them the picture.

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Leader, show them the picture.

 Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be paid to dream? Of course it would, and that’s why we have Leaders – to dream! The higher the level of leadership you hold, the more likely your job is dreaming about the future.

The primary role of a leader is to hold up the picture of the dreamed future while the team puzzles the pieces together.  Understanding the picture and how to communicate it are valuable skills that will ensure a Leaders success. A Leader must be a visionary and should be able to translate that vision into action.

Actually, it is two pictures that people expect to see from a Leader: The first is an Example and the Second is a Vision:

The Example: One of the most important gifts a leader can offer followers is the gift of being an example. Oh, we all know that it is a lot easier to tell someone how to do the right thing than to do the right thing. But when you consider that the eyes of your followers are always on you, scrutinizing every action, every word and every decision, you become aware of how importance of your example.

It is important to say at this point: If your true nature is a jerk, it would be best to improve yourself before claiming you are an authentic leader.  We should change and grow ourselves, before we work on developing those around us. The temptation is to point fingers and demand that people change without making the effort first.

Leaders could make a full time career out of just changing themselves, making their talk more valuable and believable, and people would be more likely to follow.  Nothing is more convincing than a Leader who gives set a good example of the good advice they dispense.  Be a picture that people can imitate.

The Vision: The first thing that draws people is the leader. The vision is a close second. Without a clear, quality vision a leader will be a lonely wanderer. Below are some points to consider when holding up the picture of your vision for your team to follow:

     1.       Clear and Concise: The picture f the vision must be clear, detailing exactly what is expected. The more concise the vision, the easier it is for people to visualise and buy into the process.

      2.       Attractive: It must be a picture that grabs people’s attention as something they would like to own or to be a part.

3.       Valuable: People want to be a part of something that is bigger than they are. People like to be a part of something that contributes something of value. People want to look at the vision and say – it is worth my time and energy.

4.       Inclusive: Your vision can be attractive and add value to generations that follow, but if people cannot see the role (no matter how small) they must play, they will not commit to it. I’ve had people tell me how much they have liked a particular Leader’s vision, but could not see the role that they were to play when the plan was presented, and as a result they turned their backs on the project and walked away.

5.       Rewarding: It would be wrong to assume everyone just wants to make money from the vision. Be sure you know your teams values and what they find rewarding. It is the reward that makes it worth all the effort.

If mission creates the reason why, then vision creates a picture of the what. When people with a similar why have latched onto you, offer them hope by holding up a beautiful end destination that can focus their skills and efforts on a common what. People will be inspired to follow....

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