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The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner discusses five practices of exemplary leadership. The first practice was called Model the Way which I talked about in my last blog post. In this post I will discuss the second practice called Inspire a Shared Vision.
The authors say that Inspiring a Shared Vision is made up of envisioning the future and enlisting others. As a leader it is important to have a dream, to see the future in a way that perhaps others don’t and create a vision so compelling that others want to be a part of it. In today’s world Steve Jobs was a great example of this.
Leaders are dreamers and can see trends before others. They learn from their past, look at their present, and envision a future that encompasses their values and heart.
Once leaders create a vision they then enlist others to engage in that dream as well. They show their passion, engage with others, and appeal to their common ideals. They find something that is meaningful to them as well as to others in order to come together for the cause.
They do this through the use of language - storytelling, metaphors, images, and positive communication. A great example is Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” Speech which inspired and enlisted millions of people into a collective vision using the power of language.
I believe that creating a vision is a crucial part of the success for any business leader. It provides a compass for what you are trying to achieve and inspires you because it is based upon something you are passionate about.
What is your vision for the future? Are you passionate about that vision? How can you engage and enlist others in your dream? What stories can you tell that will engage others to want to collectively move forward?
Monica Thakrar has over 18 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.