Dr. Charles Simmons Jr.
3 Key Elements that lead to Breakthrough Success!
In times such as these, it is even more evident that great leadership is the key to success. How you lead yourself, your family, your team, and your organization today will be a seed for the harvest that will return tomorrow. The question is; What kind of harvest will that be?
Again, great leadership is the key to success, but great communication is the key to great leadership. Think of any great leader: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Steve Jobs are just a few that come to my mind. They were powerful leaders because they could inspire people to follow them. It was their ability to articulate their vision that made them successful in achieving their goals.
As a leader you have to have the ability to inspire great heights, but in order to do so you will have to understand the power in the right values, the right vision, and the right environment. Let’s explore!
The Right Values
I know, I know! You hear the word values and you think to yourself...Well Duh, Charles! I totally get it! I know that when I mention values, everyone nods their heads as if to say of course, that’s obvious. But, when I talk with leaders of various kinds, whether it be a Pastor or a CEO, I find that the last time they discussed their values with their team, it was often in the new members class when they initially joined, their annual state of the union address, new hire orientation, or in the interview before their team was even hired.
I don’t mean constantly communicating your professional values only but your personal values as well. The most difficult task that you will ever have as it relates to leading a person, is the task of leading yourself. In order to lead yourself and others effectively, you must clearly know your personal values and the values of your organization. Here’s a quick exercise. Answer the following questions...
"The most difficult task that you will ever have as it relates to leading a person, is the task of leading yourself."
What do you stand for?
What do people get when they get you?
What is most important to you?
What would you like your life to demonstrate?
What is your personal mission in life?
What do you stand for?
What are you willing to do to get new business?
What are you not willing to do?
Do you have a professional mission statement?
What do people get when they employ business?
Did the answers to those questions come easily to you? If your answer is No, not only will it be hard to hold yourself accountable to them, but it will be almost impossible to lead your team to effectively follow them.
Remember, when it comes to values, leaders don’t think of a sprint, they think of a marathon. Great leaders don’t change their values just to achieve short-term success! Great leaders understand that consistent, organizational value systems, strengthen the core and help establish a strong foundation for long-term success.
Think of it this way… Your values are the rules by which you play the game. A well-defined value system makes all decisions easier, helps you lead yourself, and encourages your team to follow your lead.
"Remember, when it comes to values, leaders don’t think of a sprint, they think of a marathon."
Now, let’s talk about the power of the right Vision! I know, another Duh moment right?
Where there is no vision, the people perish! -Proverbs 29:18
Vision is your lifeblood! You need to know it inside and out. I recommend writing it down as your first step and then sharing it with others to make sure it is clear, concise, and compelling. If you run a business, then your next step would be, sharing it widely with your team. This is imperative. It is not enough to just place it on a great looking graphic in the hallway, hoping that someone would “catch the vision”. You have to intentionally and repeatedly convey it. As equally important, your vision for anyone or anything that you lead must provide a unifying picture so that everyone on the team – regardless of job function – can see exactly where you’re going and the importance of their role in getting there.
Therefore, the clearer the concept and the more concise (i.e., short and simple) the message is, the more likely you, and your team can achieve the goal. Your vision needs to answer three questions. At the very least, it must answer these three questions for you and everyone on the team.
What do we do?
How do we do it
For whom do we do it for?
As Jim Collins proved in his book, From Good to Great, this is not a 30 minute, one meeting exercise. This requires 100% participation. It can’t be a top-down decision. It must be iterative and inclusive.
"Vision is your lifeblood!"
Lastly, let’s briefly discuss the power of having the right environment or as I like to call it, the right culture.
Andrew Carnegie said: “You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best.” When you understand what is at the core of your team members, you can serve them and allow them to reach their full potential. Here are a few questions to ponder:
What do they value individually?
How can I/my organization value their uniqueness?
How can I treat them as well if not better than I treat those who I am leading them to serve?
Answering these questions will help you develop the right internal culture and foster an intentional environment.
Your culture will either be by default or design, you choose! Shape the right environment and you’ll lead yourself well, have a lasting, thriving organization, and have loyal team members to lead. Create a culture that respects each person, celebrates and rewards their effort, and encourages an openness to change. Make it a safe environment, one which encourages and embraces new ideas. Unleash personal creativity, and in doing so, each team member will feel that they have a stake in the outcome.
"Your culture will either be by default or design, you choose!"
The right values plus the right vision, along with the right environment promotes growth and buy-in at all levels. It’s a formula, a combination that creates and inspires greatness and leading which will ultimately lead to breakthrough success. Do it now!
Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Take care!