Authentic Leadership – Part 3 Imparting Vision

We are all leaders in some way.

In parenting, community, groups, church, industry or corporations, our purpose is to be a leader. The rules apply across the board. And the same question greets each leader every day, “How do I get those who follow me to run with this vision?”

Even though the answer is quite complex, and varies within culture, community and context, I have come to utilize these “Steps” to help guide us.

Head, Heart, Hands

This process must move from one step to the next, with great passion and patience. But, it must all begin with the …

1 — Head

When we feel we know what must be done, and the direction that must be followed, this knowledge fuels our: Passion, Vision and Direction.

So, the first step in imparting vision is to over …

Communicate.

We communicate Passion, Vision and Direction over and over until we puke when we have to say and explain it again! Because those that follow you must not only “know” the vision intellectually, but … be able to repeat it with the same passion as we do. When they do that, you know it has made it to their …

2 — Heart

Once those on your team see your Passion, hear the Vision and understand the direction it will take to get there, and begin to buy in and believe it with you, you know it has reached their heart.

The heart is the only place REAL belief can take place. If you stop at the head, all they have is knowledge. They may know the vision, but may never really buy into it, and truly believe it! This is a must, if you ever want them to move their …

3 — Hands

This is the final step. The place where things get done. Where you become a leader that truly understands that vision casting is a process that takes passion and patience, and you want those with you to …

Run with you, not just listen to you.

In order for that to happen, these three steps must be followed in the correct order! You can’t just communicate a vision and then start handing out orders of what needs to be done (hand). Given, there are times that must happen, but those should be rare, if ever.

Over communicate Passion, Vision and Direction until they not only know it in their heads, but they believe it in their hearts. Then and only then will you have the loyalty and collective power of their actions (hands).

What is needed to logically transfer a vision?

  1. A realistic understanding of the situation today. A firm grasp on reality gives your vision a starting point, and makes team members more willing to partner in achieving it.
  2. An experienced team. How familiar are team members with the specific problem? The more they’ve dealt with similar situations, the more confident they’ll be in their ability to tackle this challenge. Make it your goal to show them how their previous experience has prepared them.
  3. A sound strategy. Do you have a game plan that you can articulate clearly and succinctly? Team members need to know where they’re going before they can fully accept the responsibility for getting there.
  4. Acceptance of responsibility by the leader(s). Do you embrace your role in achieving the vision? Are you willing to be held accountable? People need to know that you’ll do your part.
  5. Celebration of each victory. A big vision is filled with many small goals. Celebrating victories in those areas helps team members track their progress and find the motivation to continue on the journey.
  6. Evaluation of each defeat. When the team misses a goal, it’s important to acknowledge that and communicate how the team can do better moving forward.

Great vision precedes great achievement. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, a leader of troops during World War II, wrote that “every single soldier must know, before he goes into battle, how the little battle he is to fight fits into the larger picture, and how the success of his fighting will influence the battle as a whole.” People on your team need to know why they’re fighting. This helps them buy in emotionally and logically, so that they can work together with you to achieve victory.

INFRASTRUCTURE AND SCAFFOLDING

If you are a “visionary”, and for example, a Choleric, you may think you can effect all this yourself! You cannot! You will need a team of CORE LEADERS to help transfer the vision to the rest of your teams. They have to have level 4 type buy in. I shared with Tony P. several years ago a scripture in Exodus chapter 18.

In it, Moses is receiving instruction for exactly what we are doing in current times:

Exodus 18 The Message (Paraphrased)

19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them His decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable people from all the people—people who fear God, trustworthy people who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”

Your core leaders are your trusted servants who become forerunners for all the rest. And these forerunners must be able to raise others up and impart vision to them so they too can run with it.

Habakkuk 2:2 (NLV) (Paraphrased)

“Write down the special dream,(vision), so that people can read it and run with it.”

BH/ John Maxwell

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