Effective Leaders have Vision, but what IS “Vision”?!

Many people believe that leaders carry the inherent characteristic of being “visionary”. This is true, but the concept of vision is “out there”, esoteric, and can be hard to grasp.

So, how can you “teach” vision? Aren’t visionary leaders somehow “special” in that regard?

(If you’ve been part of a Group Dynamic leadership workshop, forgive this content. This is an exercise that you’ve already done, so it may be redundant for you, but feel free to pass this on to someone who you think needs it!)

OK, let’s make this concept of vision easier, more concrete, more actionable, and more “learn-able”.

First, a working definition of “vision” as it applies to leaders:

Read moreEffective Leaders have Vision, but what IS “Vision”?!

Effective Leaders Pause and Listen

This morning, I read an article in T+D by Nance Guilmartin about the importance of cultivating humility in an organization’s leaders.

She poses a great question:

“What don’t I know I don’t know?”

Putting the needs of others first, and acting in support of your organization are key elements of servant leadership. That’s basic.

But there can be an arrogance there, too. You can assume that you know what is needed – because you’re the leader, and you ought to know.

This is what Peter Block refers to as a paternalistic view of leadership — “taking care” of people who “don’t know better” as opposed to a true commitment to learning what is needed.

Example:

Read moreEffective Leaders Pause and Listen

Leadership behaviors in “non-leaders” leads to organizational success.

Recently, I ate breakfast at the Starbucks on 86th in Johnston (Iowa) on my way to a leadership workshop with the Waukee High School Warrior Wrestling program.  As I drank my coffee and prepared the workshop, I would occasionally look off into space.  You know, to think.  But there was a display of funky-cool travel cups right in front of me, and I took a break to walk over and look at them more closely.  (Side note — I’ve been searching the world over for a travel mug that both retains heat very long and is dishwasher safe — if you find one, let me know.  Thanks.)

I picked one up to look at it more closely, and an employee appeared in front of me immediately.

Read moreLeadership behaviors in “non-leaders” leads to organizational success.