S.E.E. Your Vision
Leadership is a hot topic these days. The recent political scene has led to passionate discussions on who qualifies for leadership and what a leader does.
Taking a look at different companies and communities, it is plain to see: leaders come in all shapes, sizes, social statuses (think "gangs"), races, ethnic backgrounds, genders, religions, and nationalities. They are people like George Washington, Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Oprah, and Warren Buffet. They are mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, pastors, judges, governors, and store managers. Plainly put, if anyone looks "up" to you for any reason, you are a leader.
Some people subscribe to the camp that leaders are "born" and not made. They believe that you are either born with a talent for leadership or you are not. Well, I can tell you from studying the topic of leadership that those charismatic leaders that everyone respects and follows are RARE. I do believe that some people are born with a natural charisma and talent that makes them natural leaders. But if we waited around for all leaders to be born, then most of our "leader" posts would be vacant.
The vast majority of us have to LEARN how to lead. There may be some aspects of leadership that come naturally to us. But the rest we have to learn as we go. Leadership capability is formed while doing the job of leading. And the capacity to lead can be forged in families, churches, communities, sports teams, and small businesses. Any time we are put in a position to get others to cooperate with us, we are leading.
I have discovered three simple things that all great leaders do, whether they are in the boardroom or the football. These three simple things wrap up to provide a foundation for one of the most important aspects of leading. Let's look at them.
Really great leaders have a knack for taking the complex and making it seem simple. Whether they are teaching algebra or trying to explain a financial statement, they have a talent for distilling what is really important and delivering it in a very simple and easy to understand way. People will not follow what they cannot understand. Good leaders know this and they go out of their way to impart understanding in a straight-forward and uncomplicated way.
Great leaders are also really good at explaining. Coupled with the ability to simplify the complicated, this makes their messaging extremely effective. They use stories that resonate with their audience. They reinforce their message with stories and anecdotes that make us laugh, cry, and think. Their explanations are simple but engaging. The very best leaders captivate us in a way that engages our hearts as well as our minds.
The whole purpose of leading is to get things done. Whether that is moving an army or getting a child to eat their veggies, leadership is all about influencing others to "do." Leaders motivate us to execute. I love the quote "when it happens it will be built by a team." But a team cannot execute in an orchestrated fashion without a leader. Have you ever seen an orchestra play? Could you imagine all of those players trying to stay on beat with each other without a conductor? There are too many moving parts in most orchestras to rely on individual effort. Leaders encourage people to execute. Great leaders create cohesive teams that execute. The greater the task, the greater the leader needed to equip, inspire, and motivate others to execute TOGETHER.
S.E.E. the Vision
Someone once said that great leaders don't just have sight, they have vision. Vision is the ability to imagine a future different from your current reality. All great leaders start with a vision of where they want to be. Bill Gates started with a vision of a personal computer in everyone's home. Steve Jobs started with a vision of something "they haven't seen yet." Martin Luther King Jr. had a vision of a country that no one had ever experienced.
Having a vision is just the starting point. We would never have known the genius of Gates or Jobs or the courage of MLK if they had not been able to S.E.E. - simplify, explain, and execute. These three men, and many other men and women across the globe, have achieved success and built great organizations using their ability to S.E.E. They had to see the vision, and then S.E.E. the vision.
Now, none of us will probably achieve the greatness of these men. But we can celebrate what we are able to achieve whatever our status. As a young mother years ago, I called it a successful day if my children ate their veggies (talk about motivation and influence, whew!).
Wherever you fall on the leadership field, be confident that if you can see the vision (what you want to achieve) and S.E.E. the vision, success is coming your way.
And above all, you can lead in your own UNIQUE way to achieve success in your life. Never give up your UNIQUE.
Love your UNIQUE. Live your UNIQUE.
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