By Monica Mantri, Operations Head
A man came upon a construction site where three people were working. He asked the first, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am laying bricks.” He asked the second, “What are you doing?” and the man replied: “I am building a wall”. As he approached the third, he heard him humming a tune as he worked, and asked, “What are you doing?” The man stood, looked up at the sky, and smiled, “I am building a cathedral!”
People with innate leadership qualities should probably relate to this simple story. Understanding where people come from and ensuring they understand the path that is being paved for them, how do you guarantee that your vision is being translated well? Establishing a common long term vision and its adoption is the first step to success.
What is Vision?
Every leader has a vision. This vision is a reflection, a purpose, and a constant reminder of the reason to exist. It is the role of a leader to clearly define the vision, whether it is of the organization, a client, or even a campaign. A vision is best formed when you are honest. Because as French novelist Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
A vision helps you to look ahead with a stirring end goal in mind. However, this vision must be intertwined with values, values that define who we are, who our clients are, or who are the people being targeted. People will agree, be excited only if the vision and value resonate with them.
What are Values?
Values are personal ingredients by which vision is created, followed, and applied. Values set the benchmarks for our moral standards and principles. According to popular developmental psychologist Howard Gardner, “Most human beings crave an explicit statement of value – a perspective on what counts as being true, beautiful, and good.” Values are universal, everyone almost embodies the same values, but each person or organization simply categorizes values according to a different rank of meaning and importance.
So, how do you ensure that your team is on-board with your ideas and share your vision with the same excitement as you do?
Don’t create a façade that you have it all figured out. While you must have a clear understanding, be open in gauging your team’s ideas, interest, and feedback. Collaboration is the foundation for true business development.
Try everything in your power to reach the goal that has been set. Map the permutations and combinations in seeking the best viable idea that brings you closer to achieving the goal. One needs to be open about trial and error and re-starting again if the initial approach proved faulty.
Always be open to feedback. Understand the measures that can be taken to make it better. Be brave enough to make mistakes, mistakes make the path clearer.
Once we’ve been able to understand the feedback, we also are able to recognize the adjustments that are required to fulfill the goals. Constant iteration is a crucial trait in leading the pack, it needs to be looked at as a journey together and not flying solo. Everyone needs to be a part of it and play a significant role in doing so.
There will be challenges along the way, but it is the leader’s job to keep the pack on the right path, regardless of the barriers. Self-motivation is a key aspect, as it does get lonely at the top, and to be able to collaborate against all odds can become difficult. Change is a frightening thing, but the leader needs to adapt to newer ways and pass it on to the team. There is no specific recipe that can be added as our approaches are all different, yet the outcome remains the same. The basics of collaboration, direction-setting, courage, and spirit are sure to bring ideas to fruition and success.