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The Key to Powerful Leadership Practices: Envision

Jason Diamond Arnold

December 7, 2018

If you were asked about a person who made an impact on you professionally (or personally), you would probably choose someone who was inspiring. Maybe it was a teacher from high school, a sports coach or a previous manager at an old job. Their lessons and advice have stuck with you throughout your years and propelled your internal drive to succeed in life. The point is: they changed something in you. They helped make you, and the convictions that drive you, what you are today.

Today, you’re in their shoes trying to lead your organization and your team forward, but you’re struggling. How can you connect better with your employees? How can you strive to be a more inspiring visionary in your leadership? Here’s how:

Successful leaders enlist others to work as a unit to achieve their goals and dreams. Read more on the @InspireSoftware blog about the second practice of #leadership: Envision.Tweet This!

What’s your vision?

Great leaders envision their goals, dreams and the future. They acknowledge and appreciate an organization’s past, and then imagine the exciting possibilities for what it can become.

We’ve all dreamed of things before. We’ve all envisioned — be it in our personal or professional lives. Maybe those visions were grand and lofty. Maybe they were a series of small and attainable baby steps to get where you wanted to go. Whether big or small, those things you envisioned were exciting and inspired you. They were things that you were passionate about — and people who are passionate are able to inspire.

Visions also require work to become something attainable. A great leader realizes this, and in addition to providing an ideal image of what an organization can become, they are able to enlist the help of others to reach the dreams they envision.

Enlisting and inspiring others

So you’ve got a great vision for your organization. You, my friend, have done a lot of envisioning — and the future looks bright. But how do you convince employees to be as excited about those ideas as you are? How do you inspire?

Be passionate about your visions for the workplace. If you don’t believe in your visions and are not excited by them, you can’t expect others to be inspired to believe in them either. Sometimes a company’s goals can seem far-fetched and daunting, but leadership that is confident and passionate can enable others to feel confident and passionate, too.

If you haven’t done so already, become familiar with your employees’ values, hopes and dreams. Taking time to have open communication about these things shows that you care and that they are important. People will not be easily inspired if they think leadership does not care about them. You will find people to be more open and excited about the possibilities you envision for your organization if you take their values into account as well.

How do you inspire? You’ve got a great vision for your organization, but how do you convince #employees to be as excited about those ideas as you are? Read more from @InspireSoftware:Tweet this!

The inspirational leader makes others feel included. When communicating your vision, let your employees see where they shine in the big picture. Enabling them to feel like their work matters and that they are part of the process for getting to the end goal is the key to inspiring.

Out of the five practices of exemplary leadership, the second practice of envisioning and inspiring just may be the most broadly impactful. In a way, you’re lighting the fire and giving your employees the motivation they need to find meaning and inspiration in their everyday work by striving toward the same goal and vision as a collective group.

John Quincy Adams once said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” Employees naturally look to their leadership for inspiration. And with good practice, you can be that envisioning, inspiring leader who one day someone will say has made a great impact on them. Ready to learn more about each practice of leadership? Looking to study the principles of the second practice in further depth? Read more from the book “Achieve Leadership Genius: How You Lead Depends on Who, What, Where, and When You Leadby Drea Zigarmi, Susan Fowler and Dick Lyles.