A Guaranteed Way to Increase Employee Engagement

Companies pay exorbitant amounts of money to assess and increase employee engagement. Gallup, the top dog on employee engagement, reports that only 30% of US workers are engaged. 70% of us are not optimally engaged! That is an unthinkable problem. Want a solution?

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A guaranteed way to increase engagement is to be shockingly clear on the “what” and leave the “how” up to others. Clarifying the “what” would include vision, as well as the specific parameters that you want others to operate within. Some of you do the big picture vision really well, but without the specifics of the “what,” things get off track quickly. You need to define the metrics, timeline, values and any expectations you are bringing to the table. It’s not a time to keep secrets when you are sharing responsibility.

The truth is, if you define the “what” really well, it won’t matter too much “how” it gets done, assuming followers are living consistently with the team/organizational values. This is simple in theory, but difficult in reality. Reflecting on this simple “what vs. how” distinction is a great way to discern the level of ownership your followers have in relation to your vision and values as well.

You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the following three tendencies, which are barriers to employee engagement, too:
  1. You Push Too Much: Leaders who talk incessantly simply do not leave enough space for others. Speak the outline and let others color it in.
  2. You Don’t Pull: It’s one thing to talk too much; it’s another to learn the art of great facilitation. The pull behaviors mean you not only raise an issue and allow others to speak up in ad hoc fashion, but you intentionally draw out the voices on the team to bring their best.
  3. You Don’t Care: Perhaps you need to admit that you really don’t want others to engage. You like telling people both what to do, how to do it, and sometimes you’d rather do the work yourself rather than share it with others.

If these tendencies are part of your leadership style, learning how to be responsive and pull from others by actively listening and building common ground is the key for better engagement among your staff.

The stakes are way too high to not take the extra time needed to share the work with others, clearly communicating and radically empowering others to grow by figuring out the how on their own.

Image Credit: Didier Baertschiger

4 Ways Leaders Can Increase Organizational Clarity

I have a terrible sense of direction, but like many of you, I have accommodated this flaw through a deeply personal obsession with my GPS. I have come to depend on it, and this remarkable tool has saved my backside from time to time and definitely lessened time spent adrift and wandering. It is amazing how this innovation has quickly advanced to become a universally-prized clarity tool for orientation and direction. Value add…there is very little thinking required.

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Finding a clear path forward in business is a complex process. It isn’t easy and requires navigating diverse channels of chaos, and knowing which direction to head is often terrifically challenging for those leading organizations. Regrettably, there is no “magic” GPS system for business management that can do the navigating with no thinking required, but there are some concrete, proven ways leaders can properly orient themselves and gain the clarity needed to make strategic decisions that enable growth and success for the organization:

Conduct a system-wide review.

You have to know your organization before you can lead your organization. It’s one thing to establish a vision for your company, but knowing what team members need to help the organization achieve that vision is another thing altogether.

Most leaders I know have a vocabulary for describing what they are doing and where they are leaning in to lead. Most often, however the objectives expressed don’t always connect to the needs of the entire organization and fall short in offering compelling traction to those who follow. The challenge? Most leaders see themselves as experts and may not see the need for building the bridge of clarity for others. Others simply don’t have the patience to fully allow their teams to understand the foundational underpinnings (the “why”) behind planning and direction.

Learn to ask, and learn to listen.

How much time do you spend pulling from the human capital in your organization? Most leaders are quite skilled in pushing wants and needs from a “command and control” perspective, but are often less adept establishing common ground among those across the organization. Listening first is an essential leadership skill and must become the habitual response for leaders wanting to go further.

Discover the best instrumentation for each member of the team and delegate.

Leaders can’t do it all themselves. Delegating the right task to the right person is the way to scale and grow, but it takes time and intentionality to really understand who’s the best person for a particular job, as well as help the team coalesce. Building relational community is certainly not the fastest way of taking your organization from good to great, but successful leaders know the only way to achieve success is with a team who works together, each member from his or her strengths.

Welcome outside influence.

Remarkable perspective can be gained from external advisors. W. Edwards Deming is considered one of the fathers of modern management. He taught that “Profound knowledge comes from the outside.” Most of us spend our personal and professional lives within similar tight circles of influence. As a result, and overtime, our personal and organizational tendencies creep into the habitual and do not always assume positive consequences. Inviting strategic outsiders to guide and challenge our biases and unconscious patterns has proven extremely successful for leaders lost in clouds of complexity and desiring to rise upon the balcony of objectivity. In all sectors of influence, the greatest performers evolve because they demanded trusted outside advisors.

Consider the value of humility.

Lastly, consider the thread common to all leaders worth following: humility. Having the courage to look at the whole of your organization and not only ask what people need to feel safe moving forward, but really listen and build common ground based on what you hear requires humility. So, too, is humility required to delegate the work of achieving the vision you’ve created and trust others to help. And it’s especially necessary to invite others from the outside in to help you see things you might not on your own.

Are you interested in gaining personal clarity for your future? Does your team need organizational clarity in order to move forward? Contact us to learn more about our Leader Intensive and Team Intensive Experience.

Are you Fighting the Best Fight?

When it comes to conflict, there are hills to die on, hills to bleed on, and hills not worth climbing. Knowing what the best battles are and how to fight them is an essential leadership skill.

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Marine Corps boot camp includes a segment on combat hitting skills. I’ll never forget my experience with the boxing aspect of this segment. Recruits were lined up with their back to a small ring designed to simulate hand-to-hand combat in a ravine. One of the times I entered the ring, I was matched against a guy who was by all accounts superhuman. It appeared he had worked out since he was 5 years old, was foaming at the mouth, and beyond ready to throw down (I was too, until I saw him). Since we were promised a phone call home if we broke our opponents nose, I knew he was ready to do some damage. I did what any wise Marine Corps recruit would do in this situation: played excellent defense. I had no shame in dodging, ducking, and covering up. This was not a hill for me to die on, or bleed on. It was not worth climbing, I would have never made it.

Conflict is inevitable. Some of you are wired to fight and some of you are wired for flight. Regardless of what end of the continuum you find yourself on, the more important issue is discerning whether or not it is a hill to die on, hill to bleed on, or hill not worth climbing. Here are two questions that will help you discern whether or not, and how to engage the conflict:

Is this healthy or unhealthy conflict?

Healthy conflict is most often task and goal oriented. There is nothing like a unified group of people fighting it out over the best next steps for the team or organization to take. Healthy conflict will create energy and propel you forward. Unhealthy conflict is usually people oriented and is rooted in selfishness, gossip, or misunderstanding — usually a personality misunderstanding or something that was said the wrong way. If it’s healthy conflict about a goal, priority, or something that could benefit the other person, team, or organization, charge the hill! Fight for the highest possible good. If not, here is the second question you need to ask:

Is this something I need to throw out, talk out, or work out?

When there’s conflict, it’s not always about a fight or flight response. There are options. If it’s not mission critical or destructive, and it’s just annoying to you, throw it out!

Sometimes, though, you need to talk it out: Find a neutral person and get their perspective on whether the hill you’re climbing is really worth it. Perhaps you are wrong about the issue and you need to move on. Or, perhaps it really is a hill to bleed or die on. When you’ve avoided it long enough, or it’s a constant issue, it’s time to go work it out! If the person is not doing their job, or they are late, rude, unfocused, undisciplined, manipulative, political, closed communicators (the list goes on), it is time to fight for the highest possible good of the team. Calling it out is the first step toward fighting the best fight and resolving the conflict.

If you’re not fighting right now, you’re maintaining or dying. What problems in your life, family, team, or organization need addressing?

 

4 Qualities Every Team Needs to be Healthy

The power of transferring influence ultimately hinges on a leader’s capacity to do three things very well. First, to become a leader worth following. Second, to build leaders worth following. And third, to lead liberating organizational culture. The activity intersecting all three of these touchstones is the power of human connection: the agency of team building.

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Balancing Truth

Balancing the diverse qualities of team leadership is no small task, but we can all build capacity to navigate these challenging waters. You may say, “You don’t know my team.” True, yet frankly I would argue it shouldn’t matter. The health of your team may be nearing dysfunction with symptoms as vast as the paths that led to the downward march.

Fact: All individuals have the capacity to learn, grow, and develop. Quality leaders share this organizational mindset.

Hard Fact: If you are the leader, you are charged to set the tone and the table for this to occur.

Qualities of Healthy Organizations

Years of insight and regular observations of high impact leaders across the globe who we share the pleasure of partnership conclude that all healthy organization generally share these four qualities:

  1. A Cohesive Leadership Team – The leadership structure is clear at every level and each leader is secure in their personal self-awareness, emotional intelligence, roles of authority/responsibility and commitment to the organizational mission and vision.
  2. Alignment of IQ – The skills and knowledge of each department and organizational sectors are clearly marked and honed to mastery.
  3. Organizational Clarity – The leadership team accurately conveys organizational values, vision, and key strategic initiatives and to a larger degree, lives them.
  4. Systems and Structures of Support – The organizational strategies and operational plan may not be as splashy in terms of graphic illustration or attraction, but fundamentally important to sustaining and reinforcing the organizational direction.

Next Steps for Your Team
Call It Out
– On a scale of 1-10 (ten serving as ideal) where would you place the current health of your organization?

Own It – If your index was less that 7, who should be responsible for a course correct? Who is?

Respond – Of the above stated qualities of healthy organizations, where would you find the most needed point of support or entry?

Execute – What strategy will you not just intend to do, but share with a trusted colleague after initiating? When will this be accomplished?

“Most organizations have plenty of knowledge to succeed – they just don’t tap into it.” – Pat Lencioni

 

What’s More Important: Discipline or Intentionality?

I am sure I am not the only who wakes up in the middle of the night thinking. In a groggy, 2 a.m. state of mind, it is a struggle to grasp coherent thoughts, and usually around the time I should be getting up, things begin to coalesce and become clear. Recently I found myself awake pondering which is more important: discipline or intentionality?

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Let me explain. Every once in a while, I get the feeling I’m off target or perhaps chasing things in life that might not be a priority in the grandest scheme. The question is what to do to correct these tangential pursuits. The word that came to me this morning was discipline.

 

dis·ci·pline (noun)

  • activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training
  • behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control

 

 

The dictionary’s definition of discipline is fine, but what discipline boils down to is doing what I really don’t want to do, so I can do what I really want to do. Perhaps it is paying the price in the little things so I can get to the bigger things.

However, in the leadership realm, we focus on being intentional, which is also important. Being intentional is simply doing things on purpose or being deliberate, but is being intentional possible without being disciplined?

I believe we have to have both discipline and intentionality, or disciplined intentionality, if you will. Discipline to do those things we really don’t want to do combined with the intentionality to accomplish those things we really want to do.

Ponder getting up early in the morning for a workout. For me, the alarm goes off and I’m thinking it feels like I just went to sleep. “Five more minutes, and I will dress quickly,” I say to myself. Or, “Maybe I can just skip today.” But, I honestly know that if I skip, I will feel awful later. By the end of the workout I feel good about myself and everybody around me—plus, I get the added benefit of investing in myself and hopefully my family (when they go with me). I know I have to be intentional in getting out of bed, and that intentionality takes discipline.

Discipline can sometimes be considered a bad word and it makes many folks uncomfortable, but here are three areas where I try to bring disciplined intentionality to my life:

  1. Intentionally Disciplined Thinking: This is huge for a Pioneer/Creative personality type like me. I have to keep my mind active with regular mental challenges. I blog as an attempt at thinking, pondering, and debating bigger issues. One can’t really get far in life unless we use our head.
  2. Intentionally Disciplined Emotions: This is something I think about daily. I can either master my emotions, or I can be mastered by them. My feelings can actually prevent me from doing what I should do, or perhaps drive me me to do things I shouldn’t.
  3. Intentionally Disciplined Actions: My mind and my actions are important for sure, but they can only take me so far. Actions are what separate winners from losers. Actions always reflect my degree of discipline.

Which is more important—discipline or being intentional? Can we call them equal? I don’t know, but I sure wish I could get back those hours of sleep.

 

How To Banish Fear From Your Leadership

Growing up, I had a number of irrational fears, the most embarrassing of which was the fear of the shark in our (above ground) pool. Many thanks to Jaws for planting that seed in my young mind. Fear is common to all of us. There is a scene in the Dark Night Rises Where Bane says to Batman, “You think darkness is your ally. But you merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it…” I have 4 children, and what I know is that they all cried at birth. What were those first tears about? They weren’t tears of regret or love, they were tears of fear — you were born in it.

Too many leaders operate from a base of fear.

  • Fear of the worst happening.
  • Being consumed with what others think of of you: Will they like you? Will they accept you? Will they think you are competent?
  • Fear of making what you know to be the best decision because of the kickback you know you’ll get.

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Living with constant worry, anxiety or fear is damaging to our leadership influence and to our physical health. Though our bodies are hardwired to respond when real danger is present by firing up our nervous system so we can respond well, when we are captive to fear, our bodies are “on” all of the time. We shake. We struggle to sleep.

Fear restrains, restricts and keeps us from realizing our full potential.

In his book The Heart and the Fist, former Truman Scholar, Rhodes Scholar and Navy Seal Eric Greitens tells us how to banish fear. While training as a Navy SEAL officer, Greitens learned that banishing fear as a leader is easier than you think. He writes:

For fear to take hold of you, it needs to be given room to run in your mind. As a leader, all the room in your mind is taken up by a focus on your men. I got to a point where my senses were attuned to every physical, verbal, emotional, even spiritual tremor in the crew. Who looks like he’s about to lose his temper? Who is worried about his kid? Who’s limping? Who’s feeling sorry for himself? Who needs to be coached? Who needs to be challenged? Once I came to know these men, leadership…wasn’t really hard at all; it became easy because I had no place for my own pain, my own misery, my own self-pity.

Fear is banished when we get the focus off of ourselves, our needs, our best, and we become genuinely for others.

Week in and week out, we have the privilege of sharing this transformational message of liberation. We are for you. We genuinely want to see fear cast out of you. Take a step to get irrational fear out and bold confidence in today. How? Get focused on your people getting ahead. Focus on someone else winning.

The Damaging Impact Of Self-Preservation and How To Reverse It

In the book, Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell affirms that it takes roughly ten thousand hours of practice to achieve mastery in a particular field. In preparation for this project, Gladwell studied the lives of exceptionally successful people to find out how they achieved success and concluded with convincing evidence that greatness is the positive consequence to the investment of hard work and intense dedication. This is a widely applied model for mastery but does not answer the question of intent: For what purpose are we seeking mastery of a particular pursuit? For our own personal gain, or for the good of others? Secure leaders know that mastery is best parlayed for the greater good, but it’s very easy, even for the best of us, to fall into the trap of protecting what we’ve accomplished and achieved.

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Self-preservation is the saboteur of healthy culture and deeply fixed within the organizational DNA held by many in authority. The habit of self-preservation is the Achilles heel to a leader’s influence and broadly observed as a visceral pattern mastered by leaders across all sectors. This negative tendency is not a new phenomenon to leadership. In fact, this pattern of overprotection dates back to the earliest stories of the Egyptian pharaohs who believed their spirits would remain inside their bodies after death and in agreement to this belief, spared no expense to ensure their bodies would transition securely into the afterlife through the sophisticated science and mastery of mummification.

From the leadership lens, this example might sound a bit preposterous in relationship to your experience and may even have you asking the question, “What’s the harm in protecting yourself? Isn’t the natural act of preservation simply the discipline of responsibility?”

The obvious answer is yes! We are all wired for natural and healthy fight or flight tendencies when danger surfaces. This is the reason parents will go to great lengths to provide secure and safe environments for their children and why most of us have insurance policies to protect ourselves and our stuff. The principles of responsibility and security are important where leadership is concerned, as well, but as responsible citizens, defending and serving for others is the acceptable key to healthy forms of preservation.

Regrettably however, self-preservation runs opposed to the qualities of leaders worth following Through behaviors and actions promoting the mentality of self-interest, leaders disempower or overpower those they lead instead of encouraging, equipping, and empowering their success. The ugly byproduct of the self-interested leader is a culture of resentment held deeply across the organization that limits the oxygen of growth and advancement for others.

Reversing the Trend of Self-Preservation

What tactics can leaders use to begin reversing self-preserving tendencies to become, instead, liberating leaders?

  1. Embrace Change – Change can either be perceived as a threat or an opportunity. A self-preserving leader is typically averse to change and becomes the builder of barriers and fortified systems that protect self from vulnerability. This attitude prevents empowerment of others and the opportunities that enable growth. A leader who is worth following learns how to channel and restrain his or her natural tendencies of self-service and consider the conditions and opportunities that would advantage others. This may indeed mean shifting to embrace needed change and trusting to invest in others.
  2. Continuously Develop – Self-protecting leaders are often learn “ed” rather than learn “ers.” Leaders who stop growing eventually start to cling to the power of position and title instead of competence and character. These leaders rely on seniority and experience to compensate for any diminishment of knowledge and skill. The allure of self-preservation sucks them into the vortex of their own comforts resulting in a likely imbalance between responsibility and authority. Leaders worth following are hungry, humble, and getting smarter by the day through self-study and regular engagement within the learning exchanges occurring among their teams.
  3. Believe – Insecure leaders place others at a car’s length and protect their valued turf. Having diminished confidence through set backs and failure, many leaders fear being called out by others as incompetent. These leaders live with a massive sense of uncertainty and self-doubt. Naturally, insecure leaders don’t respond, but react to failure seeing it as a condition to condemn others and things rather than an opportunity to grow.

So, what can you do if you see these tendencies in your own leadership?

  • Call It Out: What is the protective skill (for self) that you have mastered over the course of your leadership journey? Ask the key questions: What am I afraid of losing? What am I trying to protect? What am I trying to hide?
  • Own It: What is your will and level of responsibility to reversing this self-interest tendency?
  • Respond To It: What is your detailed plan for advancing beyond the Wall of Preservation?
  • Execute: How and when will you put your plan in place?

About the Author

Joseph is a Creative/Connector with zeal to significantly “Encourage, Equip, and Empower Those Who Lead.” Dr. Hill has a wealth of experience in organizational leadership, human development, and teaching as a practitioner, educational leader, executive coach, author, and blogger. Joseph holds a post-graduate degree in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Servant Leadership and is a Licensed Executive Coach through the International Coach Federation. Learn more about Dr. Hill at www.giantworldwide.com/dr-joseph-hill/ or follow him on Twitter @liveleadserve.

We would love to hear your story of personal breakthrough. Email us here.

My Birthday Gift to You: Older Does Not Mean Wiser

Today is my birthday and while I’m receiving a few nice shirts from my wife, I wanted to be certain to give something away. I want to share with you a practice that I have built into my leadership rhythms that will transform what you do today, as well as enable you to achieve the longer range goals you’ve set out for yourself. Today I recognize that I’m growing older, but my question to myself on milestone days like this and at the end of the year is always the same: Am I growing wiser?

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Henry Ford said that anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is that older does not mean wiser. I have met young men and women who have wisdom beyond their years and older men and women who are foolish. The differentiator is the intentional commitment to be a lifelong learner.  It is true that you learn nothing from your experiences, only from reflecting on those experiences.

         Lifelong learning → Growth → Productivity → Goal Achievement   

Business philosopher Jim Rohn observed that most homes valued over $250,000.00 have a library. While that does not tell us that success is owning a big home, it should tell us something about the impact of learning. Leaders worth following are lifelong learners. Curiosity and need drive leaders to gain new areas of skill and expertise as they explore learning from other people, books, articles, blogs, and ongoing training opportunities. If lifelong learning is so important, why doesn’t everyone do it? It appears that only a small percentage of people take the time needed to extract learning from their experiences. I understand why people don’t invest the time in learning. It’s stretching, it takes time and hard work. Allow these insights from Harvey Mackay to provide some motivation for you as it relates to the reading component of learning:

  • If you read just one book per month for 12 straight months, you will be in the top 25 percentile of all intellectuals in the world.
  • If you read five books on one subject, you are one of the world’s foremost leading authorities on that subject.
  • If you read just 15 minutes a day — every day, for one year — you can complete 20 books.

Hit fast forward on your life five years from now. What do you need to learn today in order to achieve the goals you’ve set or the career advances you are hoping for? You must start taking steps today, as learning is most often slow and incremental. Becoming a lifelong learner takes time, intentionality and discipline. Health warning: Taking learning seriously will result in significant life changes. As you grow, you will find that your interests change. You may even find yourself traveling with a new circle of friends. Embrace it all!

What do you need to learn to move you forward in your career? What do you need to learn to move one step closer to the attainment of your goals? Put a learning plan in place this week that will serve you well to become older and wiser.

 

Leaders Worth Following Know Influence is Power

Leadership is ten wasted letters without influence, because influence is the functional byproduct of leadership. In their classic book on leadership, Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge, authors Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus echo this point: “There is a profound difference between management and leadership.” They wrote, “and both are important. To manage means to bring about, to accomplish, to have charge of or responsibility for, to conduct. Leading is influencing, guiding in direction, course, action, opinion.” They add, “an essential factor in leadership is the capacity to influence.” Though leading and managing are two different pieces of the puzzle, leaders and managers who are worth following share common knowledge: they know that influence is power and the key to success.

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The Myth of Management Influence

There are many who put managers and leaders on separate animals on the same carrousel. I don’t believe influence is assigned only to the corner office. Managers also leverage the power of influence. Only a fraction of managerial work can actually be accomplished through command, control and authority. The aim of both managers and leaders is the same: to build relational capital, and then capitalize on the relationship to meet the organization’s vision.

Managers may do this though organization, processes, task assignment, measurements, and the like. This is all maximized through the power of people. People influenced by the 4 C’s of Influence – Character, Chemistry, Competence, and Credibility.

Teams are made up of humans, not androids or automated equipment. They respond best when they are respected as valued beings and are at their best when they have a voice in how the work gets done. When relationship is the focus over the opportunity or transaction, teams will remain loyal and will help to build strength within the overall culture of the organization. This is why the best managers also lead as liberators of empowerment and opportunity for those within their care.

Leaders and managers alike mobilize people around a compelling vision of the future and the building of a bridge to get there. They show team members what is possible and encourage, equip, end empower each employee to make those possibilities real. The best leaders and managers use the apprentice methodology to teach, mentor and invest in the success of others. This is all through the channel of influence, not authority. And…it takes time.

In most cases, leaders and managers are one in the same. The VP of Operations who leads a team of employees to accomplish the unthinkable is also a manager. The manager who provides primary oversight to team performance but also invests in developing others’ technical skill and coaches them in managing through an issue of conflict is also a leader. The art of management and leadership is to know when to act as a manager and when to move out as a leader, when to leverage authority and when to partner to influence, when to ask and when to tell, when to take charge and when to let go. In every case, it is essential for leaders and managers to understand the range of influence techniques that are effective and the patience needed to build relational fortitude with those being served.

Are you interested in building more capacity for leadership influence across your entire organization? We would be happy to partner with you in Becoming Leaders Worth Following. www.giantworldwide.com

The Most Neglected Skill of Visionaries (and How to Fix It)

Are you a visionary? I’m not talking about being a dreamer with aspirations that don’t move out of your head, but rather a visionary whose dream has legs on it. Visionaries have an unusual capacity to see what is not and begin acting as if it is. They are relentless in the face of the inevitable resistance they will experience for a heroic pursuit of their impossible.

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I had the great privilege of founding an organization, setting vision and shaping the culture and actually seeing it come to be. When I transitioned from that role two years ago, I was honored to hear people describe our culture as the most authentic and healthy they had been a part of. I knew my dream with legs on it had taken off running.

One of our values at GiANT is heroic goals: WHO SAYS WE CAN’T? I love that! Visionaries are stubborn. Failure is an opportunity to call an audible and get after a new plan.

I’ve learned from and apprenticed true visionaries for the past 8 years. Visionaries have all sorts of baggage and challenges to work through. We can be too abstract, too scattered, move too fast, and a host of other too’s. I would say, though, that the most neglected skill of visionaries is the capacity to shift from pushing out vision by giving direction to pulling people in for coaching and collaboration.

The most neglected skill of visionaries is the capacity to shift from pushing out vision by giving direction to pulling people in for coaching and collaboration.

Visionaries are great at pushing: We can tell you what needs to be done, how to do it and get you set in the right direction. Oftentimes, however, we’re not so great at pulling people in for coaching and collaboration. We are arrogant! “What could you add to my already 20/20 vision?” (Really sick, I know!) We over-assess our ability to communicate direction and expectations up front and underestimate the need to pull people in for check-ins, fresh direction, visioning time and troubleshooting.

Why do we do this? We view vision more as an event than a process!  When we think of vision casting, we think of pulling all staff together for an event more than we think of conversations over cups of coffee. We wrongly think big, not small. We think organizational revolution through mass communication rather than individual evolution through viral conversations.

Here’s the fix: If you are a visionary and you haven’t learned this lesson yet, please do; don’t underestimate your need to continually pull people in for vision-related coaching and collaboration. It is the secret sauce of seeing ownership and creativity flourish. You need to see everyone in your organization as a vision carrier who has a unique capacity to be a vision caster. This will help you see the value of investing more time pulling people in for coaching and collaboration and less time overemphasizing pushing out vision.

Question to ponder: What are other skills that you would say are the most neglected for visionary leaders to consider?