Tag Archives: Vision

The Best Leaders Are Great Coaches

Posted on 03. Jan, 2017 by .

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screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-6-54-24-amGreat leadership is made up of numerous different elements and roles, which come together differently in different leadership styles. One role that’s often overlooked is that of serving as a coach.

If you’ve ever played or trained under a great coach, you already understand how vast their influence can be.

The best leaders, like the best coaches, give those around them permission to succeed and know how to help them reach their potential.

Here are some of the most important coaching ideas shared by great leaders—ideas that can benefit anyone’s leadership in any field:

Communicate with wisdom. As a coach and leader, you need exceptional communication skills. Your words should make people sit up, listen and feel inspired to act.

Challenge the unchallenged. It’s important to know how to challenge others without making them feel criticized or scorned.

Raise the bar. Set and maintain high personal standards. Keep raising the bar so others can follow suit.

Invest in teamwork. Teach those around you to value great collaboration even more than individual achievement. Demonstrate the truth of TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

Encourage boldness. Encourage others to make mistakes and take bold moves. Nothing great was ever achieved by not being courageous.

Embrace diversity. Understand and take to heart the value of diversity and take advantage of every opportunity to demonstrate and attest to its importance.

View people in terms of their potential. Recognize the unrealized potential in those around you. Even more important, help them see it for themselves.

Be available. Whatever your position, build a reputation as someone who’s approachable and quick to help.

Accumulate resources. Develop an extensive network both within and outside your organization. Make it available as a resource for others, not just yourself.

Provide solutions. Learn to seek out and develop win-win solutions and teach those skills to others.

Be an optimist. Cultivate an optimistic outlook that guides you to focus on the possibilities and connections that others might miss.

Create a compelling vision. Have a well-developed personal vision that you can communicate clearly and with inspiration. Present your vision in a way that encourages others to do the same.

Coaches are great leaders because they know how to unlock potential and motivate people to maximize their performance. In short, they help others learn to be their best. And that’s what leadership is all about.

Lead from within: Great leadership isn’t about what you accomplish yourself; it’s about what you inspire others to do.

For coaching, consulting, workshops, and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

 

 

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The Dilemma Of The Servant Leader

Posted on 09. Mar, 2016 by .

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Most servant leaders pride themselves on being leaders who—well, serve. And most do.

They serve people with compassion, empathy, listening, and healing.

Richard is an excellent leader and a smart man. I’ve been coaching him for years. but recently he told me he felt he was failing as a leader.

I was seriously shocked to hear him say this, because I know him, and as a leader he is one of those people you automatically admire.

So why would a great man and an even better leader feel like he was failing?

As he spoke, I realized that his dilemma lay in the fact that most of us have made leadership into something that is unreachable and unattainable, something that’s bigger than us.

As a result, we have potentially great leaders who have paralyzed themselves with worry that their leadership will never do well.

We’ve made leadership about changing the world. We’ve taken the title of leader and we treat it as if it’s something that one day we’re going to live up to, and on that day we’ll finally be able to call ourselves a leader.

And I worry sometimes that we spend so much time celebrating amazing things—things that hardly anybody can do—that we’ve convinced ourselves that those are the only things worth celebrating, and in so doing we devalue the things we can do every day.

Richard is and will always be a servant leader, a man who leads from within. The people who interact with him every day can vouch for that.

But he is also human.

Sometimes he cannot be there the way he wants to be. That fact of life was causing him to feel less successful as a servant leader, when in truth he is the best kind: an imperfect person with a perfect giving heart.

With the right attitudes and actions, the rest of us imperfect humans can also be effective servant leaders.

Here’s how:

Lead from within. If you are driven to serve others and you make a conscious choice to lead from who you are, with your passion, your perseverance and your sensitive heart, you are a servant leader.

Know how to listen. Practice and value the art of listening, and remember that listening is one the most sincere forms of respect you can give someone. When you truly listen—listen to understand, not to set up your own speaking points—you are expressing that you care. When you can show up with a listening heart, you are a servant leader.

Embrace empathy. When you understand that empathy means seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another, and feeling with the heart of another, you are a servant leader.

Inspire and motivate. Servant leaders inspire motivation. They can rally the troops in crisis, they can bring together people in difficult times, and they can make people feel important and valued. When you can speak to others knowing that everyone is afraid of something, everyone loves something and everyone has lost something, you are a servant leader.

Be aware. A deep level of self-awareness allows us to relate our unique gifts and talents to this new economy, our complex world, and the ways in which we can help others. Self-awareness builds strength. But making a commitment to grow in awareness can be frightening, because sometimes we uncover our own imperfections. If you can accept who you are in that imperfection and remain aware of yourself, you are a servant leader.

Have vision. Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. Leaders create a vision; they passionately own it, they articulate it and they relentlessly drive it into being. People buy into a leader before they buy into the vision. When you have a vision that people care about, when you uplift that vision and the performance of those who support it to a higher standard, you are a servant leader.

Commit to the growth of people. Encourage those around you to grow; make it safe for people to take risks and make mistakes. Servant-leaders believe that people have an intrinsic value beyond their tangible contributions as workers. If you’re deeply committed to the personal, professional and spiritual growth of every individual within the organization, you are a servant leader.

Build communities. Leadership is about building a sense of community. Servant-leaders seek to identify a means for building community so they can overcome isolation and actively move toward a congregation of brotherhood and sisterhood, a company—in every sense of the word—where people feel safe and cared for. If you do this, you are a servant leader.

In large and small ways, servant leaders listen, empathize, inspire, elevate, and foster individual and community growth. They bring people together to accomplish something meaningful and compelling.

Richard’s dilemma was centered in the belief that he couldn’t be human. But it is the sheer acceptance of our humanity that makes us great leaders.

Lead From Within: Think about the leaders you know—the ones you admire, the ones who serve. Find a way to let them know that any imperfections make them, in fact, perfect servant leaders.

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For coaching, consulting, workshops and speaking. Please feel free to contact us.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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I Have A Dream

Posted on 18. Jan, 2016 by .

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Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 11.50.26 AMWe go about our everyday lives wanting things to get better.

We hope that our work makes a difference and those who came before us are proud.

We wish for our children to have more than what we were given.

And as Martin Luther King Jr.’s said so famously in his speech-

“Dreams are at the center of any effort
to make things better.”

And so I share my dream with you:

I have a dream that we understand that we can make a difference in the world, and that how we do the things we do is just as important as why.

I have a dream that organizations work not from a place of control and fear but a place of connection and collaboration.

I have a dream that we stop asking employees to follow the status quo but allow them to be curious and creative, and that we recognize all ideas as potential stepping stones to something much greater.

I have a dream that we treat money as something to work for but not something we just accumulate.

I have a dream that when fear shows up we stare back at it courageously.

I have a dream that we replace trying to please each other with caring for each other as we care for ourselves.

I have a dream that we communicate with meaning and purpose, saying what really matters and not what we think people want us to hear.

I have a dream that we commit ourselves to lifelong relationships that stretch across the boundaries of geography, organizations, and beliefs.

I have a dream that we open ourselves to connecting on a deep level so we can mutually benefit and enrich each others’ lives, gravitating toward each other instead of away into ourselves.

I have a dream that we become a world that shares our collective intelligence and inner wisdom, that together we generate such creativity and strength and enlightenment that future generations look back at this time as the beginning of the world they grew up in.

Because as life would have it-

When we can dream together
we can change the world.

Lead From Within: Dream with me—when we dream together we can truly dream big and change the world forever.

What are your dreams?

Share them here!

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90 Powerful Ways to Become a Highly Successful Leader

Posted on 25. Aug, 2015 by .

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If you’re starting a new position or role, or your leadership just needs a refresher use these 90 powerful tips over the first three months to get your leadership on track.

It’s a tough statistic: 40 percent of leaders going into a new roles fail in their first 18 months. An estimated one-third of outside senior hires fail.

In any position, your effectiveness and trajectory are powerfully affected by choices you make – so how can you best make them count?

By having your very own playbook for success like this one: 

1.   Get A Head Start. Build relationships before you begin your new position. Think of whom you can talk to within the company who can guide you in your new position.

2.  Take A Reset Vacation. Before beginning a new role, separate yourself from the old one. Take some time off to give yourself some much-needed rest.

3.   Inform Your Loved Ones. A new role might mean a different schedule and more late nights for a while. Do what you need to assure your family and friends that you’ll do your best to be available.

4.   Stay In Shape. Make firm commitments with yourself to maintain good habits— because with new positions come stress and with stress comes anxiety.

5.   Take Control Of  Your  Start. Make sure the time you start your new position or role works for you. If you need to start later, negotiate for yourself. Be collaborative in manner but do what works for you and sets the right tone.

6.   Do Your Homework. Before you begin anything, find out the software and processes that are used and get up to speed.

7.   Focus On Systems. Use processes that work for you; develop systems that meet your needs and make your life easier. Make sure you can track progress and milestones, and that you have all you need to be effective.

8.   Model The Day. Practice modeling the perfect productive day—figure out what is important and determine priorities. Plan your meetings and create your systems. Build a model for what a good day feels like in this role.

9.   Learn The Foundation. Make sure you really know the mission of the company, what it stands for, what it wants to achieve.

10.  Roles And Rules. What are the functional roles within your team? How do they relate to what you want to achieve?

11.   Learn The Value Proposition.  Make sure you understand the value proposition of your team, your company and those who you work with you.

12.   Create A One-Pager. Prepare yourself with a summary of the mission, purpose and values of the company, along with the trends and innovations within your industry.

13.   Personal Planner. Make a personal plan based on where you want to be 90 days from now. Set goals and objectives; outline concerns and problems that you will deal with.

14.   Brainstorm.  You’ll need to brainstorm to set priorities and begin implementing plans without stepping on anyone’s toes.

15.   Take Small Steps. Your list may be long and arduous, but with small incremental steps you can set things in position.

16.   Make A Powerful Impression
. People will vividly remember their first impressions of you. Make sure they’re positive.

17.   Speak To Your Team. Introduce yourself personally to each member of your team, and schedule an individual meeting.

18.   Walk In Their Shoes. Remember how apprehensive and uncertain it can feel to have a new leader, new ways of doing things, new priorities.

19.   Ask Lots Of Questions. Ask thoughtful questions and always listen intently.

20.  Visit Important Facilities.  If you’re at a new organization, make a point of familiarizing yourself with security, HR, IT, and the financial offices.

21.  Reach Out To Your Peers. Listen, ask questions, and start building a new network.

22.  Learn And Listen.
Make it a point to learn and listen about the status of the company and its key initiatives.

23.  Look At Assignments.
Make sure you have the right people in the right roles.

24.  Manage Up, Down And Across. Managing across and down are important, but if you don’t manage up you’re toast. “Up” includes each member of the executive team or your boss’s peers who control access to resources you need. If you’re in a senior leadership position, communicate one-on-one with your board members and major investors or donors early.

25.  Summarize.
 People will be asking about your background and experience; be prepared to speak about yourself clearly and concisely.

26.  Set Up Reminders. Make sure you’re following up and staying focused.

27.  Be Respectful Of Time. The biggest hurdle in the beginning will be time, so learn to be respectful of your time and that of others.

28.  Get It Done. You’ll feel overwhelmed if you don’t have a plan—figure out what needs to get done and get it done.

29.  Don’t Chase Fires. When you start a new position, everything seems urgent. Determine what you should deal with now and what you can put off for later.

30.  Stay Neutral And Calm. Don’t adopt anybody else’s agenda or issues.

31.  Be Available. Don’t hide behind closed doors because you are feeling overwhelmed; it is the worst thing if people have to come and seek you out. Make yourself visible and available

32.  Learn What Matters. Learn what matters to your people and how you can help them achieve their goals.

33.  Create A Spreadsheet Of Power. Make a mind map of what each person does, what you want from them and how you can support them. Keep it up to date.

34.  Draw Boundaries. Determine what you can control, what you will make your own, what you will want to give approval on, and where you will have a say.

35.   Learn To Delegate. Figure out which tasks you will delegate and to whom. Give concise instructions and all the information they need to excel.

36.   Check Yourself At Benchmarks. After your first 30 days, provide a summary back to the organization of your findings. Draft what actions you intend to take based on what you’ve learned. Invite others to give you feedback.

37.   Measure Your Steps. Let them know when it will be accomplished and how, and that everything will be measured for results.

38.   Don’t Rush. Be realistic about the pace of change. Change can not be driven; it can only be inspired and motivated by you as a leader.

39.   Keep Milestones Attainable. Set realistic milestones that can be met and tie them to appropriate rewards.

40.  Draw Up A Team Road Map. Work with your team to develop a road map of its mission, purpose, values and roles. Let them know that success is a partnership.

41.  Revisit The Strategic Plan. Is it still applicable for the forward motion, vision and purpose of the organization?

42.  
Align.  You want everyone from every team and department to be aligned on the company’s mission and purpose so they know how to make decisions and interact with colleagues and clients.

43.   Say NO. You don’t want to disappoint. But if you have to say no, let them know why. Teach your team the distinction between what is important and what is urgent, what gets approved and what doesn’t.

44.   Remember, You Can’t Please Everyone. But let everyone know you are here to do the best you can.

45.   Lead From Your Sweet Spot. Let people know what you are good at and what your strengths are. Let them get to you know for your strengths.

46.   Don’t Gossip. There will be stories to tell and stories to listen to, but don’t gossip. Don’t talk about the last leader or let team members talk about others. Keep your conversations professional.

47.   Deal With Your Weak Spots. Be wise enough to know your weak spots and be mindful on how you lead with them. Don’t try to pretend you’re perfect.

48.  Find The Experts. You don’t need to know everything—find the experts that can help you excel.

49.  Surround Yourself  With The Right People.  Build a network of diverse perspectives, talents, and intelligence.

50.   Let People See You Working Hard. It is important that people know what you are doing and that you are dedicated. Let people know you are serious.

51.   Don’t Let It Get To Your Head. Being in a new position is no time for ego. View it as a privilege.

52.   Build Relationships. Go deeper than the meet and greet.

53.   Make It Personal. Find out who everyone on your team is and what is important to them, professionally and personally.

54.   Mind Your Brand. Everyone has a message—make sure you can speak yours from the heart.

55.   Know Your Values. Make a list of what you stand for and what you will not tolerate. Let everyone know you have high standards and you spend your time meeting them every day.

56.   Remember Your Story Matters. Who you are, where you came from, what you value—they’re all relevant.

57.   Take It From “ME” To “WE”. Ask your team for ideas about how you can best collaborate to do something important.

58.   Don’t Let Distractions Get The Best Of  You. There will be lots of distractions—keep your focus.

59.   Show And Tell. Give good direction, especially with people who haven’t worked with you before.

60.   Don’t Keep Them Guessing.
The worst thing you can do is failing to communicate with your team, your peers, and your bosses.

61.    Make It Easy For Others. Do everything in your power to simplify their work and to help them be successful.

62.    Define Priorities. Let your team know what you consider urgent and what constitutes a priority. Let them know how best to communicate with you in both cases.

63.    Set A Response Time. Let those around you know what to expect from you in terms of response time for voice mail, emails or any kind of communication, even in off hours.

64.    Disclose.    Let your team know what you will absolutely not tolerate.

65.    Let Them Get To Know You. It’s the path to effective collaboration, connection, and communication.

66.    Constantly Build Trust. Consistently work to build an atmosphere of trust that begins with you.

67.    Model The Behavior You Want.
For example, put your own phone away at the beginning of your team meeting.

68.    Catch Problems Early. Learn how to identify and solve problems and find solutions before things become overwhelming.

69.    Reinforce Your Team’s Efforts. Show appreciation of their efforts and recognize their hard work.

70.    Pick Your Battles. Make sure they’re worth it.

71.    Be Reasonable. Don’t set expectations so high that no one can live up to them.

72.    Expect A Lot And Appreciate Even More. Set a high bar for performance, and reward it with gratitude.

73.    Always Be Positive. Always have a positive attitude and speak nicely about others. People are looking to you to set a tone.

74.    Go After Quick Wins. The energize teams and give you momentum.

75.    Plan To Succeed. Spend a few minutes in planning every day, however busy things are.

76.    Communicate Often. Never be inaccessible or hidden away.

77.    Tell Them A Compelling Story. When you need buy-in, remember that people resonate with a great story.

78.    Let Curiosity Kill The Can’t. Let everyone know how much you value curiosity.

79.    Run Great Meetings. To win hearts of your people, run great meetings. Make them fun and productive, memorable and measurable.

80.    Admit Your Mistakes. Let others know it’s OK to make mistakes as long as they don’t keep repeating them. Make the most out of mistakes; figure out what went wrong and learn how to do it better next time.

81.    Invest In Your People. Do all that you can to support them.

82.    Grow More Leaders. Give people the confidence they need and grow them to the next level.

83.    Ask For Help. Sometimes you just have to call in an expert or coach.

84.    Opinions Matter. Make it easy for people to share and speak their mind.

85.    Celebrate Diversity. The best teams seek out diversity and make the best use of it.

86.    Look For Talent Everywhere. Keep your eyes open to the value in others and think of ways to utilize their talents.

87.    Keep Them Informed. Put together a monthly newsletter or spreadsheet that lets people stay aligned and informed.

88.    Have Confidence. Believe in yourself and in your team; let them know you have the confidence to succeed and so do they.

89.    Keep Your Hands Off  The Wheel. Don’t micromanage or become a control freak. Let people show you what they can do.

90.    Stay Smart And Heart-Centered. Whatever you do, the first 90 days will be a road map for the rest of your leadership. Be smart about what you do and do all that you can to show that you care. Leadership is about inspiring and enabling others to do their absolute best together, to realize a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose.

Lead From Within: If you follow these 90 powerful tips you will go beyond being a successful leader. You will imprint hearts and minds of those you lead.

Lolly Daskal is the president and Founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive leadership coaching and customized leadership programs. Connect with Lolly Daskal

Additional Reading:

At The Risk Of Being Changed

• The Power Of Parting: 7 Things You Need To Stop Doing 

Lead From Where You Are And With All That You 

The Wisdom Of Whole Hearted Leading

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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Leadership Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

Posted on 05. Aug, 2014 by .

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The life of a modern leader brings challenges of leading, innovating, motivating, growing, developing, evaluating, communicating, and risking.

And here’s a fact: You can’t do any of those things very well within your comfort zone. The end of your comfort zone is where your leadership begins.

It’s challenging to move beyond your comfort zone—that’s how it got its name!

There’s something very comforting in using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.

We experience tasks and routines that are so familiar, or that we’re so good at, that we don’t have to think twice about them.

But effective leaders know that leading from their comfort zone means they’re not learning, growing, developing, or getting results.

Ready to go beyond? Here are some thoughts to guide you:

Be smart and challenge yourself. Leaders are so used to motivating and empowering others that they often forget they need to challenge themselves as much as they challenge others. Smart leaders challenge everything—(especially) themselves.

Be fearless and challenge the vision. When the organizational vision is not defined or doesn’t fit, you lose sight of where you are going. Leaders demonstrate courage when they work with others define and articulate the organization’s vision so everyone can be aligned with purpose.

Be daring and challenge the organization. Restructuring, remodeling, reorganization are all necessary for an organization to stay aligned in times of change. Leaders demonstrate daring when they’re willing to let go of control and preconceived notions.

Be heroic and challenge the stakeholders. Every organization is lead by people and relationships are critical, but often one or more stakeholders are holding back the organization. Leaders who demonstrate heroism take risks in gaining buy-in from the important relationships within the organization.

Be innovative and challenge best practices. Each organization has its own processes and best practices. Innovative leaders are constantly challenging the “this is how we do it” mindset and keep aiming higher.

Be strong and challenge the culture. Every organization has a culture, but to be its best it must be intentionally formed and fostered. Strong leaders build strong cultures.

Be bold and challenge the talent.  Developing, growing, and cultivating talent are among the most important components innovation and success—if you want creativity and productivity, you have to build a great team. Bold leaders know that greatness is never achieved inside a small, familiar circle.

The best leaders understand that every improvement comes with stepping out of comfort zone, because for most things to change they have to be challenged.

Lead From Within:  Leaders who lead beyond their comfort zone take stands. They take responsibility. They seize opportunities to make things better. They challenge things to make improvements. They take risks to create change.

Lolly Daskal is the president and founder of Lead From Within a consulting firm specializing in executive coaching and customized leadership programs Connect with Lolly Daskal

© 2014 Lolly Daskal. All rights reserved.

 

Additional Reading:

Become The Leader Worth Following

How Does EGO Edge Greatness Out

Courage Is The Key To Fearless Leadership

Leadership: Challenging The Status Quo

 

Painting by: Charnina

 

 

 

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Leadership Is by Choice, Not Chance

Posted on 29. Apr, 2014 by .

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We live much of our lives with society telling us what to do, people telling us how to think, technology and the media telling us what to buy, and the culture telling us all the ways we need to make ourselves better.

The last of our freedoms lies is in the choosing for ourselves who we are in the present moment.

Choice is freedom. It’s about knowing what we excel at, what we are strong at, in what our heart inclines us to, and it leads us to carry those things forward and share them with others—not by compulsion, but by our own inner inclinations.

It’s choice, not chance, that will determine our leadership.

 

[…]

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Leadership Reflection: The Strength to Change Ourselves

Posted on 15. Apr, 2014 by .

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He was an elderly man whose face had life written all over it. He sat drinking tea as he reflected on his life:

When I was young, I was full of fire and I wanted to awaken everyone. I prayed for enough strength to change the world.

In midlife, I awoke one day to realize my life was half over and I had changed no one. I prayed for strength to change those close around me,   who so much needed it.

And now, here I am a very old man, and my prayer today is very simple. I pray for the strength to at least change myself

In life we must learn to first assemble the inner, than the outer.

We must first acknowledge the important rather than the insignificant.

We must recognize the great rather then the trivial.

We must first lead ourselves, and then only then we can lead others. […]

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A Wise Leader Does Not Think So Much

Posted on 25. Mar, 2014 by .

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Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 7.29.57 AMAll of us are guilty of getting caught up in too much thinking, too much analysis, too much data. By nature leaders tend to be overthinkers, and we can become victims of staying too much in our head. A wise leader brings to bear not only knowledge but wisdom, and sometimes wisdom tells us not to think too much.

Thinking is good, but when does too much mind become a hurdle?

When it creates “analysis paralysis.” The start to solving any problem is seeking information, but faced with an overabundance of data, background, facts, and numbers, it’s easy to freeze up under the weight of your thoughts.

Wise leaders use data to guide decisions but don’t get bogged down by it. […]

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The Honest Truth About Teams

Posted on 16. Jul, 2013 by .

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Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 8.40.23 AMThere’s a good reason we spend so much time thinking about teams.

Every organization in every industry pursues ambitious projects, works hard to get and serve clients and customers,  tackle new markets, new ideas, and new innovation.

Competition is fierce, and it takes a great team to deliver the kind of performance that keeps organizations successful.

And there are no quick answers about how to build that great team.

But after years of observing many team dynamics, I have come to recognize a few elements that make up a top-performing team: […]

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Vision Of Change

Posted on 12. Mar, 2013 by .

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For the past few weeks we have been diving deep into organizational change.

We have explored the emotions that change brings about.
We have emphasized the importance of our people.
We have embraced the concept that sharing is succeeding.

But what is it that we are exploring, emphasizing, and embracing?

The “what” is the Vision.

A vision serves as a bridge, a link from the present to the future in the minds of those who are affected by change.

A vision is not just a statement; it is a compelling living idea that feeds us intellectually and emotionally.

 

Developing, clarifying, and communicating a clear vision is an important step in the change process.

Developing the vision: Our people look at us as leaders to define a vision and to paint the picture of the future.

Clarifying the vision: Our people look to our guidance as leaders to clarify and identify the direction of change.

Communicating the vision: Our people need to be respected enough for us to communicate a clear, inclusive vision for change—so they, in turn, can help us bring the vision to reality.

Communicating a vision helps our people see themselves in the present being useful and in the future making a difference.

 

Having a vision helps people understand the reason for change and the benefits it can bring. It helps people prepare. It helps to stay focused, and it aligns behaviors and activities to be successful.

Having a vision is essential to the heart of leadership and the soul of change.

 

Lead from within: Shared vision is a shared heart, a shared leadership, and a shared organization. It benefits us all.

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