What does leadership mean to you? Does it mean running your own company? Does it mean running your department? Does it mean running your family? Does it mean running your small business?
It means many different things to many different people. It doesn’t mean you need to be CEO of a multi-billion-dollar organization. It just means you’re running your life as the leader in your life. And we need to have specific skills to be a good leader. Whether it’s just for me, for my family, for my department, for my small business, for my large company, for my whatever, we need to be good leaders.
One of the critical components of great leadership is that they have a clear vision and focus. Where are they going?
[ctt template=”3″ link=”7hB7Z” via=”yes” ]One of the critical components of great leadership is that they have a clear vision and focus.[/ctt]
Currently, Warren and I are renovating our new to us home. I had a vision that I wanted a home on the water. It took five years to find the right property, and now we are making the home perfect for us. Today is kitchen demo day, and walls are disappearing on the main floor. It looks incredible already, and I can see my vision coming to fruition.
As we toured our friends through our home and pointed out all we are doing (every room in the house is being renovated, many walls are coming down, and although the house will be on the same footprint when we are done, it won’t be the same house at all), I had a few friends say they were astounded at our plans. They commented that they wouldn’t have been able to see the potential that Warren and I see. They could see it once we described it but couldn’t create the vision on their own.
I love HGTV. I love renovations. I love taking something and making it my own. Warren is very good at being able to see my vision and jump on board. He was initially reluctant to move from our other home, seeing only problems with a waterfront home. When we saw this house initially, his thoughts were that there was far too much work required. We talked through it, I shared my vision, and he got excited about it.
Having a vision on your own isn’t enough. You need to be able to share the vision so that others get excited too. It took me a while to convince Warren to even start to look at houses on the water as he didn’t want to move. When we first toured this house, he didn’t see what I saw. I shared my excitement and vision of the house, and he loves our move. As we watch the sunset on the water, tear our flooring, and remove walls, he reminds me of how glad he is that I could convince him to move by sharing my vision.
[ctt template=”3″ link=”89_s2″ via=”yes” ]Having a vision on your own isn’t enough. Here the other piece of the puzzle:[/ctt]
Without vision, you have confusion. Great leaders have great vision, and they are able to share it with others. Are you able to share your plans with others so they can see them? Can you get others excited about what is coming, or do you rely on trust to get them where you need them to be? If you have to say, “Trust me on this,” they don’t see your vision. You shouldn’t rely on trust but on the strength of your vision.
Leaders also have a very positive attitude that they’re going successfully implement their vision. Sometimes, there are detours along the way, and they recognize that. Our kitchen cabinets have been delayed a month, and we will be without a kitchen for seven weeks. That’s a long time to be living and eating out of the dining room, but we will be fine. I knew that the contractor’s timing to remove the old kitchen and then install the new kitchen left us kitchen-less for a while, and we created a substitute kitchen. That substitute kitchen (the dining room) will substitute for a little longer than originally planned. I know there will be days when we say we are tired of having the house torn to pieces. We also are very clear that we will have created our “forever home” when we are done.
We are focused on the positive outcome of what we are doing and staying positive about it. We aren’t getting caught up in the negativity of what we chose to do. That’s easy to say and hard to do.
Leaders come with enthusiastic followers. You may not be in a formal leadership role at work and wonder about where these enthusiastic followers are coming from. That’s okay. You may not be in a formal leadership role in your family, either. You don’t need to be in a formal or recognized leadership role. Be a leader for yourself. When you’re leading, whether it’s your family, your department, or your company, you will hopefully have enthusiastic followers. Others that get excited about your vision. They believe in what you’re going to do.
You want enthusiastic followers who see the vision. They can only be enthusiastic if they see what you see. If they don’t see it, it’s just another job or task they need to complete. That isn’t leadership; it is management. there’s a big difference between the two.
As an effective leader, you need a can-do approach instead of a can’t-do approach. We want to make sure that we’re focused on what we can do. That’s part of the positive attitude. But not focused on what we can’t do, or shouldn’t do, or not allowed to do, or can’t afford to do. Here’s what we can do. Let’s focus on that.
Do you do that, or are you focused on what you can’t do? We can’t build onto our home. Living on the water comes with stringent regulations, and increasing your footprint is part of that. I would love to build a tiki bar down by the water. We can’t. I know that, and we don’t stress over it. We focus on the home areas we can make perfect, and don’t worry about the strict rules and restrictions we have.
Leadership is a state of mind. It is really easy to do if you think of all of the people who are part of your team going with you and bringing them along. This week, I challenge you to think about how you’re leading others, either intentionally or unintentionally, either formally, with authority, or without authority. Do people follow you because they want to follow you because they believe in your vision? Do they follow you because they have to follow you because you’re the boss? Let’s change it around and make people want to follow you and join you on the road to success.