Most people have a general idea about what they want for their lives. The capacity to relay that vision to others is the challenge. This is something that sets apart a leader from the rest.
The main quality that all leaders share is that they have a clear and exciting vision for the future, and the ability to communicate that vision.
Only a leader can think about the future and plan for the future each day.
Communicate Your Vision
Excellent leaders take the time to think through and develop a clear picture of how life will look in one, three and five-year increments.
Leaders have the ability to communicate this vision in such a way that others “buy in.” Eventually, others see this vision as belonging to them.
Motivate People to Give Their Best
It is the vision of the future possibilities, of what can be, that arouses emotion and motivates people to give their best.
The most powerful vision is always qualitative, aimed at and described in terms of values and mission. It is not a quantitative vision, described in terms of money and numbers.
Money is Important
Of course, money is important. The decision and commitment to “be the best in the business,” though, is far more exciting.
Keep Your Cool
Another key to leadership success is for you to “keep your cool.”
A study at Stanford Business School examined the qualities that companies look for in promoting young managers toward senior executive positions, especially the position of Chief Executive Officer. The study concluded that there are two important qualities required for great success.
First, the ability to put together and function as part of a team.
All work is ultimately done by teams. A manager’s output is the output of the team. The ability to select team members, set objectives, delegate responsibility and finally, get the job done, is central to success in management.
Practice Patience Under Pressure
The second leadership quality required for rapid promotion is the ability to function well under pressure, especially in a crisis.
Keeping your cool in a crisis means to practice patience and self-control under difficult or disappointing circumstances.
All Eyes On You
The character and quality of a leader are often demonstrated in these critical moments under fire. In these moments everyone is watching, observing and taking notes.
Rudyard Kipling once said, “If you can keep your head when all around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, then the world is yours and all that’s in it.”
Your job as a leader is to have a clear vision of where you want to go. Keep your cool when things go wrong, as they surely will.
Create Your Own Dream Future Board
Here are two things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action:
First, project forward 3–5 years and imagine your ideal future vision. What does it look like? What steps can you take right now to begin turning your future vision into your current reality?
A great tool to help visualize your future and focus on your goals is a vision board.
Also known as a dream board, the concept involves placing images of your ideal life, belongings, goals and affirmations onto a board or book.
Once created, you should look at it as often as possible to activate your reticular activating system. Notice the resources and opportunities necessary to make your dreams become part of your reality.
Second, resolve in advance that, no matter what happens, you will remain calm and cool. You will not become upset or angry. You will take a deep breath and focus on the solution rather than on the problem.