Great leaders must be forward thinking. In other words, they must have a vision of a future that drives and inspires them enough to want to lead others to it.
So, as a leader, what is it you want? What’s your vision? What is that future you are passionate for and want others to enjoy/experience?
Answering these things is hard for a lot of people because they think they have to come up with something grand, something epic, something world changing, but it doesn’t have to be that at all. A leader’s vision can be something much more practical.
I remember when I was leading a small audio-visual production team in a hotel and my vision was for our operation to create inspiring events that brought customer and financial success, of course, but there was more. I wanted to do all of that without sacrificing a working environment that my team members enjoyed and wanted to be part of. I wanted a team who would work as hard for each other as they did for the business results and to have a good time doing it.
That multi-faceted vision was what I used as my center, my gauge for success, and it was also the vision I wanted my team to see and work for as well. It also taught me a lesson. Because my vision included those I was leading, it was abundantly clear that leading wasn’t just about me, it was also at least as much about the people I was leading on that journey. And because I wanted as much for them as I wanted for myself, I began to see leadership an act of service.
Okay, okay, but what’s my point? To lead, you must have something you are leading people to, something they are willing to fight for. And that vision, as my example shows, can be practical, but it must exist or your people aren’t going anywhere and you’re not leading.
So, if you want to really lead, what’s your vision? What’s that future state where you want to take your team? What meaningful thing are you giving them to fight for…with you?
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