The future belongs to all!
Nobody has ever created greatness without enlisting the help, support, guidance and input from others. So, what is the secret ingredient that helps others want to jump on board a leader’s vision?
Well, there’s a few!
- Leaders look to the future, determining how they see it containing more hope and possibility This may be as a result of a past frustration, a current inefficiency or a future dream! Either way, a new future has been born.
- Leaders bring others into the picture to allow them to make it their own. Leaders must earn the input of others; this will only be achieved if there’s significant relevance in the future for the people themselves; inviting them in is prudent. Citing the example of Hilti Australia’s new MD Jan Pacas: You have to express [a future] so that every manager and every employee can break it down into specific things that are relevant to them. The vision has to appeal to people’s head, heart and hands. Head, meaning that they understand it logically, heart, meaning that it’s emotionally compelling to them, and hands, meaning that it’s actionable, that they know what to do and they’re empowered to do it. ‘The feeling of making a difference at work significantly increases as leaders more frequently show team members (constituents) that their long-term interests can be realized by enlisting in a common vision. Leadership help constituents see that what they are doing is bigger than they are and that their work has meaning and purpose,’ cite Kouzes and Posner, co-authors of ‘The Leadership Challenge’.
- While this is underway, leaders allow others to feel important. It is clearly communicated that without their input, limitations would exist, and without their perspective, opportunity would be missed.
There will always be a reason for change and new visions. Meaning and purpose prevail well beyond economic turndowns and political instability. When people are aware of how their contribution is positively impacting a future state, as well as the value a dependency yields, the stakes for motivation run high, and discretionary effort exponentially increases.
- Cohesion emerges from collaboration. When all individuals are fused together by common purpose and language (as in the case of a human system), the group entity and its conviction and pride becomes impenetrable by outside influences. It self-generates, reinvents and recreates as a matter of habit. The group’s culture and modus operandi is set, ensuring the future is theirs to define, own and grow! Let’s never forget, it takes courage, excitement and energy to commit to a distant dream, elements that exist by nature in a synergistic environment.
As we’ve never been to the future before, ‘group travel’ can protect in times of weariness, change, frustration and fear while also opening opportunities to unknown and unchartered territory. Challenge is the crucible of greatness and when leaders willingly share the journey with others, facilitating a communal and co-owned future, an even greater vision emerges.