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“History shows us that the people who end up changing the world – the great political, social, scientific, technological, artistic, even sports revolutionaries – are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses.”
John Eliot (Personal Excellence.co)
When US industrial automaker Henry Ford began in the 1920’s and 1930’s to break the work of his assembly lines down into smaller and smaller components and to specialise his workforce to each of these tasks, people thought he was mad. But he only saw what others didn’t see. Not long after, industrial production underwent a massive revolution that saw Fords idea become standard practice. Likewise, when the rolling assembly line was introduced into car plants, critics said it was laughable and impractical. Today it is standard industry practice.
Henry Ford had a vision. It was burning inside of him and he was able to inspire and motivate his team to catch his vision, make it their own and bring it to fruition.
What is your vision for your organisation?
Do you want to take your organisation somewhere that they haven’t been before?
Do you know how you are going to see your vision become a reality?
For you as the Leader to accomplish your Vision, whether it’s breaking new ground and pioneering new frontiers, or simply just to make the planned annual target, there are a number of critical components, which I’ll outline in this article and the next, that I suggest you need to lead and set in place. They all work together, each component relying on the other, to drive the results you want to achieve. If you take short cuts on one component, it will impact other areas of your business and your team, and will jeopardize your chance of achieving your vision.
1. You need to make the Vision clear to the team you lead. It’s imperative your team know what it is that you want the team to accomplish. It must be crystal clear to avoid doubt and confusion and to ensure alignment within your team.
Is your vision crystal clear to the team you lead?
Do you have alignment to your vision?
2. You need to lead the so the Vision becomes the teams’ vision. Not only does your vision need to be clear to the team you lead, your team must take ownership of it. It needs to become part of them. They need to live and breathe the vision with you. A key team building strategy to create ownership of the vision is for those people that have a vested interest in the vision, to interact and share the vision together.
Does your team have ownership of the vision?
Is it part of them?
Is your team interacting at a high level?
3. You as the leader need to grow. Your team can only grow as far as the leader. You as the leader determine how far individuals on your team grow because if you’re not growing, you inadvertently cap the growth of your team. Though on the flip side, if you’re growing and developing your leadership skills and it’s really obvious to your team, they will start duplicating your thinking and start duplicating your behaviours.
Are you growing your skills as the leader?
Is your team duplicating your behaviors?
4. You as the leader need to grow your people. Not only do you need to grow yourself as the leader, you need to grow the team around you. The product is not the product – the real product is your people. Too many organisations focus solely on achieving their results and fail to realize that the results they want to achieve will not happen unless they continually grow and develop the leadership skills of their people and build belief into each individual. Not only do their leadership skills increase, you are working on their heart and spirit, which builds trust, increases loyalty and motivation to achieving the vision.
Are you growing the skills and abilities of your team?
Are you building their self-belief?
Are you building the heart and spirit of your team?
Are you building their belief in the vision?
5. You need to lead people to a higher level of thinking.
On a summer day in 1994, Jeff Bezos quit his lucrative job at a New York city investment firm, packed up and with his wife driving, made a now legendary voyage to Seattle to start what he thought would be a good business. By the time he arrived there he had a plan to sell books over the Internet. Investors thought he was crazy…… That crazy idea is now known as Amazon, and Jeff Bezos is worth approximately a paltry $50 billion dollars.
To take a “crazy” idea and turn it into a global phenomenon takes incredible leadership skills. Jeff was able to implant his vision into people, inspire and motivate them and lead them to think at a higher level than they were before to achieve what most thought impossible and down right nuts.
The greatest gift you can give to a person is to improve the way they think – to lead them to a higher level of thinking. If you keep thinking the same way, you will keep achieving the same results. Our heart and spirit will determine how we think, what we believe and how we behave. Anything is possible when we grow the level of our thinking.
Are you leading your team to a higher level of thinking?
What behaviours do you need to change?
What behaviours does the team need to change?
6. You need to create a winning team culture to build trust by focusing on building the heart and spirit of your team. You must get the heart and spirit right of all the individuals on the team you lead to build trust and to create a team environment where all individuals can thrive and perform to their potential. To do anything great and “nuts”, you need this. You need 100% trust of the team you lead, and everyone striving to be better. Trust leads to belief – belief in you and belief that the vision is possible. Belief always comes from the heart and spirit of individuals.
What are you currently doing to build the heart and spirit of the team you lead?
How much does your team believe in the vision?
In my business, Leadership Dynamics, I spend 75% of my time working on the heart and spirit of people, identifying where they are on the Emotional Scale. My Leadership Dynamics process highlights where people are on a daily basis daily. The Emotional Scale and Emotional Tone of people can change day to day based upon what is happening in their life. Strong and effective leaders are able to master their inner spirit no matter what is going on around them, so that they are able to maintain high level thinking which leads to better decision making and more effective results.
Do you know where the individuals in your team are on the Emotional Scale?
What is your current Emotional Scale?
7. You need to be transparent to build trust and increase your influence. When I implement my Leadership Dynamics process with new clients and new teams to earn trust and increase my influence, I become very transparent about the journey I’ve had during my life. Only last week I was with a Senior Director from BlackRock Inc, meeting personally for the first time before presenting some of the Leadership Dynamics strategies I implemented into the Australian Women’s Football Team, “The Matilda’s”, over 5 months preparing them for the June 2015 World Cup. (The Matildas’ went on to create Australian Football history in 2015, knocking out Brazil and moving on to the Women’s World Cup Quarter Finals topping what they call The Group of Death.)
The Senior Female Director has tremendous people skills and the heart and spirit of wanting to make a difference for the people and for BlackRock Inc, particularly the women who are part of one of the biggest companies on this planet.
Before I did my presentation, we spent an hour introducing ourselves to each other and I was transparent and shared some of my story from my teens and early twenties so she would trust that what I was going to share with her team was authentic.
Transparency builds trust and increases your influence.
Without complete honesty and transparency there can be no trust – you can’t lead without trust.
Do you have trust?
Where don’t you have trust?
What do you need to be more transparent about?
Look the truth straight on – what do you have to do differently?
To earn trust as a leader requires you to take ownership of the people you have around you and grow them by you taking the time to invest into them. The team will see that you will do whatever it takes to help them become part of your vision to achieve the result.
As the leader, by you focusing on the potential of the people you have around you instead of their weaknesses and limitations will increase your influence because this builds trust.
Do you invest in the people you have around you?
What do you need to do to invest more into your team?
8. You need to give your team 100% loyalty. You cannot assume Leadership of people with a title. The people you surround yourself with will follow you when they truly know that your heart and spirit is loyal to them. You need to give loyalty to get loyalty.
Michael Cheika, the coach of the Australian Rugby team, “The Wallabies” since October 2014, has turned a team, whom many had written off, into a high performing side who made it all they way to the Rugby World Cup final. How did he do it? One of the many leadership traits that Michael Cheika possesses is his fierce loyalty to his players. He goes “into bat” for his players, backing them when others don’t, for example in the Kurtley Beale scandal earlier this year. This quality inspires and drives the loyalty of his players back to him, with many not just playing for themselves and Australia, but they play for him.
How do you display loyalty to the team you lead?
Do you have loyalty?
I trust that you are stimulated and agitated by these first 8 critical components you need to achieve your vision to Lead4Growth. An effective leader will continue to strive and grow these components and execute them. In my next blog, I’ll explain the further 5 components I believe are essential to achieving anything great or different from the norm.
Leadership is a life long journey and when you have a vision that only you can see, because it starts with the leaders vision, people will think you are crazy, but as history tells us, it’s often the crazy ideas, the “far out” visions that change the world.