I have seen my fair share of uninspiring leadership. Many executive leaders want to be known for “bringing out the best” in their leadership teams, but lack three basic ingredients to be able to inspire greatness in their leaders and in the front line.
1. Lack of Vision
Leaders want to follow other leaders, but only if they can see an inspiring vision that pulls them and the organization’s workforce toward something bigger and more exciting than their day-to-day objectives. Vision is aspirational. Therefore, executive leaders must be particularly good at painting a compelling vision so that others will want to follow. If they are skilled enough at this, their teams will zealously present that vision to everyone with whom they come in contact.
When they fail to communicate such a vision, everyone is lost in tactics.
Obstacles become overwhelming.
Then, followers go away.
Are you casting a compelling vision that bonds your people to you and the organization?
RELATED READING: Why Vulnerable Leaders Create Loyal Employees
2. Lack of Alignment
This is a huge area of opportunity for many executive leaders. When I refer to alignment, I am not only referring to organizational alignment, but aligning executive leadership’s behaviors with organizational values and norms. I am referring to aligning what executive leaders say and what they do.
Sadly, this is probably the most frustrating part for leadership teams and the front line employees under their management. They have to live in the mess and often clean it up, because they often feel powerless to the mixed messages.
If you are an executive leader, and you are wondering why your organization appears to be running in different directions, look inward.
Evaluate whether you might be the driving force behind the lack of greatness. Perhaps, you might consider 360 feedback for you and the entire leadership team, because it can be an invaluable exercise to get you and your organization back on track.
If you want your organization to succeed and be personally “known for” inspiring greatness, you will not regret it.
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3. Lack of Trust
Once we have lost our people’s trust, we have lost our ability to inspire them to do great things. I can think of many ways to lose trust. Maybe, an executive leader was not forthright on a sensitive topic. Perhaps, he/she often chooses to look out for themselves and put organizational health on the back burner.
Can you think of a time when you admired an executive leader, but then later found out he/she violated trust?
How did you feel? Try to remember that feeling, because it may motivate you and the rest of your team to never replicate it.
Thank you for reading this article.
I help organizational leaders live out all three of these elements in order to drive positive employee and customer experiences. Without vision, behavioral alignment and trust, financial targets and engagement goals will never be sustainable.
I would love to hear examples from you of how an executive leader failed to inspire greatness, or was a positive example for others to follow. You can Comment below. If you found it helpful and want to Share it with a friend, please do.
Cheers to Inspiring Greatness!!