By Laura Gramling, President, EnSpark Consulting
We live into the future that we imagine, and the task is to keep focused on that vision and let that be the context for all our actions. Peter Block
Leadership is about focusing on what matters. Great leaders focus on creating a vision, strategic thinking and inspiring action.
Creating a vision
What’s possible for the organization? What’s needed to elevate performance, foster innovation and create the next “big thing”? Clarity and commitment to the organization’s WHY (why we exist and what we want to create in the world) is essential for leaders to believe in and must be conveyed to others with conviction and enthusiasm. (Sinek, 2009) (Mayo, 2007)
Determining how best to align resources, decisions and organizational focus in order to fulfill on the vision is the work of leadership. As shifts in vision and goals occurs (caused by internal motivations or external factors), a renewed conversation about organizational structure, supporting mechanisms, performance management, and organizational norms needs to occur. Whether a tactical change or strategic transformation, organizational elements need to be reviewed to ensure success.
Weisbord’s Six Box Model is one that allows leaders to consider different elements of the organization and the impact/magnitude of change that must occur in order for the organization’s vision and goals to be achieved. (Weisbord, 1978)
Leaders need to take responsibility for creating an environment that unleashes their staff and inspires success. Fostering high-trust, encouraging innovation, recognizing high-performance and setting accountability for everyone including themselves are ways leaders can “walk the talk” of their vision and everyone’s role in achieving it.
Leadership is not confined to a role
Leadership is a function in the organization, rather than the trait of an individual. It is distributed among the members of a group or organization, and is not automatically vested in the chairman or the person with the formal authority. Good leadership and good membership therefore blend into each other in an effective organization. Edgar Schein
In other words: leadership is possible everywhere and thriving organizations understand this point and cultivate leaders throughout. Effective ways to inspire leaders at all levels:
|Role Clarity||Ensure everyone knows how their role fulfills on the organization’s vision and goals|
|Job Crafting||Allow staff to choose which projects they’ll work on|
|Peer Coaching||Develop peer coaching opportunities for feedback, safe space discussions and accountability for elevating performance|
|Mentoring Programs||Connect senior leaders and staff in meaningful dialogues about what really matters|
|Stretch Goals||Assign difficult but achievable projects and tasks|
|Rotate Project Leadership Roles||Develop ownership of the team’s success by empowering different project members to lead|
|Formal Training||Provide staff with opportunities to gain new skills and knowledge|
Connect with us to discuss your leadership focus.
Block, P. (2001). The Answer to How Is Yes, Acting on What Matters. San Francisco, CA, USA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Mayo, T. (2007, Oct 29). The Importance of Vision. Retrieved from Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2007/10/the-importance-of-vision
Schein, E. H. (1965). Organizational Psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, USA: Prentice-Hall.
Sinek, S. (2009). Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. New York, NY, USA: Penquin Group.
Weisbord, M. R. (1978). Organizational Diagnosis: A Workbook of Theory and Practice. Cambridge, MA, USA: Perseus Books.