Powerful leadership is dependent on a context of connectedness.
You can’t effectively lead people with whom you have not built an open, caring and believable connection. This is the critical first step in being a more powerful leader.
The second step is to build the foundation of integrity. You can’t ask others to go where you will not or to be more courageous than are you. You can’t ask them to take risks you won’t take or to believe what you don’t believe. Leadership starts by knowing yourself and being clear with others about who you really are. You must lead from your heart and allow others to know what deeply matters to you.
Now, you are ready for Step 3. You must create a possibility that inspires those who follow you. People are depending on you to see the preferred future and to have the plan to make that future a reality. You must have the ability to accurately assess the current state of affairs and to see what can be better. It is this ability to see that creates hope in those who follow you. And, it is hope that fuels action.
You must be able and willing to stand before your people and give your version of M.L. King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech. What is your dream? Does it create a possibility for your employees that they can believe in? Does it inspire them to show up in a different way?
We all need to see the preferred future in order to sign up to do something more. Give them the ability to see. Paint the picture so clearly and with such conviction that it seems like a certainty rather than a pipedream. And, it can’t be about your preferred future. It can include good things for you, but primarily it must be for them.
The better you get at casting such a vision, the more powerful your leadership will become.