This is another post in the series Coaching to Core Ideals.
The IDEAL LEADER is 1) Visionary, 2) Authentic, 3) Disciplined, 4) Accessible and 5) Strategic Learners. See this first blog post to get a quick overview and context. We are going to break each sub-topic down over the next few weeks.
The IDEAL LEADER is Visionary
- Has a vision for their life and work and engages mentors to hold them accountable
- Has a compelling reason to offer others to follow them either through both word and action
Why would anyone want to follow you? Really, what is the most compelling reason you have to give to your employees, colleagues, or family members to engage with you as a leader? What is it that you are speaking about that taps into the real needs and the essence of those you have been entrusted with to give direction to about their work and career? Even more disturbing for most of us is answering the question…How are you living and what are you acting on (as a leader) to set an example to others who are watching you? Click here to see my favorite example!
One of the things that many “new” leaders find out too late (for better and for the worse) is that you are being watched. As a leader “all eyes are on me” and you better believe people are watching your actions even more than what you say. AND they want to see that they (words and actions) are in alignment. You are being watched; by an individual, a team, and maybe an entire global organization is watching your character in the big and the small things. When it counts for a lot and when it counts for a little. Do you schedule people off your calendar for what you “think” are bigger items? What does that tell them? What if it is your family or child that you scheduled off your calendar?
Why the word “COMPELLING” to describe your vision and your action? If you look at the definition it means you have an undeniable ability to persuade and to get others in the same grasp of your vision…in the same way that it has gripped you. A vision often chooses us and lays hold of us and won’t let go. It comes to us over time or in a “gripping” moment. We may think we acquire, choose, or build a vision ourselves. As an experienced coach it seems the vision is there waiting for the client or leader to find it. It is almost like we often are running from our own vision and just won’t give it a chance to grab us. Just like Isaac wrestled with God all night long for a blessing, God had a vision for him and he had to wrestle with it in order to receive it. It came with a limp and a new name as a result.
Lastly, if you clicked on my favorite example above…you saw Gene Kranz portrayed in Apollo 13 movie. He set the example of leadership in his role as Flight Leader at NASA. It is powerful when a leader can produce a gripping and convincing story that not only he or she believes in, but that others see them in action towards their vision with true conviction. When someone is drawn toward their vision like the thirsty are to water it makes others around thirst as well. Nothing quenches the thirst of a compelling vision until you invest yourself in it by both word and deed. Speak it and live it. It’s simple, powerful, and the hardest thing a leader faces when the real challenges start happening.
Next post… The Ideal Leader sees how you balance the longer view with the need for short term results.