As you follow the 5 Steps to Empowering Leadership*, the second step after doing your best to figure out the current reality of the situation you are facing (Step One: Knowledge), will be to ask yourself “What do I want to achieve and why does it matter?” – Vision.
You have to start with knowledge because it’s important to know the scope of the situation you want to create. The best visions are based on facts and data. Steve Jobs understood what it would take from a technology standpoint to put a computer in everyone’s pocket (iPod/iPad/IPhone) and what types of skills team members were going to need to create it. Mergers and acquisitions aren’t based on luck, but a clear understanding of what each company will gain from the deal. Account Executives close sales when they understand and appreciate what the buyer wants to gain from purchasing their product or service.
Here’s a few questions to ask yourself as you prepare for your week whether you are creating a vision for your organization, a marketing or sales strategy, or even a crucial conversation you need to have with someone worth having one with.
What do you want? (Think: Desired Outcomes)
This may seem simple, but really give this some thought. What you want defines the outcome you want to achieve.
Why do you want it?
This question is the key to achieving satisfying accomplishments. Watch for sentences like, “I need to….” When you need to do something you may be driven by anxiety. As soon as the anxiety is reduced your drive to achieve it will diminish. Remember this when you are thinking about what you want to accomplish that requires anyone else to be motivated and engaged (hint: almost everything requires others to be motivated and engaged). If you are in a command and control mode of thinking you will be inducing a vision that may be driven by your why rather than the deeper why of others.
Why don’t you have it already?
If you want to be the industry leader do you have the skills, resources and do you and your team possess the right behaviors to get there? You may not be the right person to assess your skills and behaviors as it’s hard to be objective and detached when you are part of the situation. The same could be said for resources. Many times it’s hard to see what resources are available to you when you are close to a situation. If you are creating a vision for a crucial conversation coming up this week see if there’s something you can change about your approach or perspective that might shift the outcomes you’ve gotten in the past.
Thank you, for the time you take to partner with me in reading this column each week. It is you that I think about when I am writing it in hopes that you will find even one question that helps you along your journey to leadership success this week.
*The 5 Steps of Empowering Leadership is a copyright of Cortex Leadership Consulting, Inc., and developed by Lynda McNutt Foster.