We know what you’re experiencing out there. In every organization – for-profit, non-profit, and governmental – we are all feeling pressure from the relentlessly accelerating pace of change.
Add exploding complexity – a growing number of choices and demands – and you realize that the “rules of the road” are changing. They have to.
It gets even more challenging when we factor in that the world now expects us to “come to them” – with the filters of geography, culture, generational mindset, maybe even the type of business they’re in – applied fully. That should be easier than it used to be because we have ready access to so much more information, right?
Bottom line: The expectation for each of us to adapt, to go more than half-way to meet the other person, is almost impossibly high. And if you’re in charge, this means you’ll be constantly adapting how you communicate it to others whom you need to come with you as you move your teams/organizations forward.
So, YOU want to be a Leader in the face of all of this complexity and uncertainty? It’s not for those who are rigid; command and control culture, and directive communication, is no longer enough to get your people and customers engaged. Being a Subject Matter Expert, a strong manager, an optimist won’t be enough either. Faster decision-making won’t even be enough. There is no roadmap. There’s no one way that will work for an extended period of time. Leaders today are laying track while the train is in motion, and often they can’t see over the next hilltop or two.
Time for a change in perspective. It may be getting harder, but Tomorrow’s Leaders understand that the strain of uncertainty means big opportunities for them if they can help teams and organizations make sense of it all. These days, it takes a bigger and bigger leap of faith for leaders and their teams to get a clear view of the desired end game – where they’re going. Taking that leap demands a nearly insane level of commitment, clarity rooted in unifying purpose, and a huge amount of energy, sustained, from everyone who has the skills to get there.
You want to be a leader? Give your teams the Destination, Roadmap, and Energy to take the trip with you. You can do it with exceptional Communication.
Leaders with staying power are increasingly the ones who know how to:
- Make the Destination real and achievable. This is you painting the picture of the future and the impact that the organization will have – in plain terms, using examples and stories to which many can relate. Articulate where you’re going, why it matters, and what’s in it for your teams, customers, business partners, and other constituents.
- Draw the Roadmap – connect your organization’s strategy to “the why” – your organization’s purpose, or reason for being, and what makes you distinctly able to reach your Destination. If your team members and customers don’t know “what’s in it for them,” then they’ll do half-hearted work and won’t ever take the leap of faith you know will be needed
- Lead these followers to a renewable source of Energy that will sustain them on the road to the Destination. Energy they draw from being part of a high-functioning team which creates, collaborates, and executes in ways that make them proud. Energy that comes from believing in the worth of the Destination.
You want to be the Leader? You want to influence others and have them do their best work that gets you the results you’re driving toward? Make it simple for the other guy. Reduce the degree of overwhelm, so they can focus on great ideas and even better execution. Make every day work into a series of collaborations and exchanges with truly diverse people.
Your influence will be greatest when you measure success not just in results, but in the strength of a history of shared successes. These memorable interactions and achievements will inspire the next big idea that makes the Destination even better.