So, you’re a leader. You inspire and motivate those around you; you have a dedicated, loyal group of followers; you have a vision for the future. You’re doing great!
Wait. Do those around you, including your dedicated group of followers, know your vision? Do you communicate that vision with them? Do you know what it will take to attain that vision, and how those in your circle can help you get there?
We often hear leaders identify themselves as visionaries. Perhaps they are, but they don’t seem to be perceived as such. When we debrief our clients on their Executive Presence 360, many of them indicate that they are visionaries. To their surprise, their respondents don’t indicate that as an attribute. Why the disconnect?
Leaders are laser focused and move towards their goals with that vision in mind. They ask their team members to work on certain tasks without sharing their vision. They omit to explain why what they asked them to do is so important. Sharing your vision will not only help you attain that vision, it will inspire and motivate your team to forge ahead and help you make that vision a reality.
The “Why” Factor
Simon Sinek, popular author, speaker and consultant, explains how great leaders inspire action through their vision during his Ted Talk. According to Sinek, all great leaders and organizations think, act and communicate in the exact same way, which just so happens to be the opposite way of everyone else. Sinek calls this method of communication the Golden Circle.
In the middle of the circle is the “Why”, then comes the “How,” and finally, the “What.”Everyone knows what they do, some know how they do it, but very few know why they do what they do (the purpose, cause). That’s why most of us communicate from the outside in – we share our “What” first.
All great leaders, on the other hand, communicate from the inside out; they share their “why,” or their vision, first. As Sinek says: “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” He uses the example of Apple to demonstrate this theory by explaining that Apple, a computer company, shares their vision first, and that’s what we buy into – it just so happens they make great computers. But it’s the “why” that Apple shares with us that leads us to buy any product that they develop, whether it’s a computer, DVR, MP3, television, etc.
Being a visionary is a core trait of a great leader, however the secret lies in your ability to communicate that vision to others. If those in your circles do not see you as a visionary, and you see yourself as one, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to engage and inspire your followers even more. Be the leader you know you can be, and share your vision!
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