On Sep, 12 2017
Are You a Visionary Leader?
Few people aspire to win the Olympics, invent a breakthrough product, or truly make a legacy difference in the world. But as a leader, it is your job to identify what the real possibility is in your market, and then mobilize your people and organization to achieve that possibility. Visionary leaders inspire the passion and capability of their people to achieve breakthrough results. This starts with clarifying your vision.
Most Leaders Set the Visionary Bar Too Low
It takes courage and a bold stance to establish a vision that is truly extraordinary. Most leaders don’t reach far enough because they don’t see the true capabilities of their people and organization. So, they set the visionary bar low. Years of research show that 60-70% of significant transformations fail. This has led to both leadership and the workforce unconsciously colluding with each other to set the bar significantly lower than what is possible in their organizations. Accepting mediocrity and incremental improvement has become a far too common norm.
Change Your Mindset to Clarify Your Vision
If you want to achieve a big vision, you must shift your mindset, beliefs, and expectations about what your people and organization can achieve. You must see and perceive latent possibility. If you only look at what is possible through the lens of the current reality of your organization (current performance, skills, outcomes, how the organization is organized, and current cultural norms) you will only aspire to certain goals because you are already achieving what you can currently achieve. Inherent in your current organization are limitations to achieving significantly more.
But when you look through the lens of “we can raise the bar” and truly elevate our leaders and workforce’s mindsets, behaviors, and skills, transform our culture, re-organize our organization, and deploy new business systems, processes, and technologies successfully, something bigger becomes possible. In other words, when you know in your gut you can successfully transform your organization, culture, leadership, and workforce performance WHILE pursuing your vision – when you see through that lens of possibility – you suddenly look higher up the mountain for a greater vision. You naturally raise the bar. But this is risky to leaders, because the higher the aspiration, the greater the leadership challenge.
This courageous shift in mindset is the first leadership breakthrough required. It is the foundation of visionary – and transformational – leadership.
Focus on Your Required Breakthroughs
When you set the visionary bar high and have established a truly compelling vision, you then must identify the breakthroughs required in your organization, culture, leadership, and workforce to achieve that vision. A breakthrough is not an incremental improvement, but rather, a radical jump in performance and outcomes. Breakthrough means busting through current capabilities and current accomplishments in a way that is significant, far beyond the norm of incremental improvement. Achieving breakthrough requires real transformation.
If you aspire to a significant vision, you can’t keep doing what you are currently doing and expect to achieve it. Since your vision is way outside the current comfort zone of your organization and the current capabilities of your people, you must know how to lead transformation that delivers breakthrough results. Achieving breakthrough is the path to your vision.