Vision is a critical component of Leadership Charisma – the quality we attribute to a leader when her/his people are so fully engaged that they enthusiastically contribute their best possible efforts to the the achievement of the organization’s goals.
In the first post in this mini series you saw that the largest research study ever undertaken into the subject of charisma showed that what we traditonally call charisma in a business leader is nothing more than the reaction of people to a specific set of behaviors the leader demonstrates.
And because charisma is all about behavior anyone who is motivated to understand and honestly assimilate the behaviors of charismatic leaders can raise the charismatic impact they have upon their people – raising with it employee engagement and productivity.
This post and the next posts that follow look at the behaviors that are typical of charismatic leaders – make them your behaviors and you can raise your charismatic impact on your team.
A vision is successful when it “speaks” to a wide audience, tells an engaging story that people want to be a part of, challenges people, and creates a sense of urgencyMark Lipton, author of “Guiding Growth: How Vision Keeps Companies on Course “
Vision is key
Really probe anyone who has every worked for a truly charismatic leader – one who inspired her or him to engage fully with their work and contribute the very best they are capable of – and one of the things they will inevitably talk of is their leader’s vision.
Every organization must have a vision statement of some kind – it’s an utterly indispensable means of focusing the efforts of the entire organization upon a single desirable point in the future when the organization has realized it’s intent of becoming what it was established to become, has achieved what it was established to achieve. The corporate vision is very simply a clear statement of what the organization has committed it will become in the future.
But creating or adopting a great corporate vision will not automatically make you a charismatic leader. What most leaders miss is the fact that the dry vision statement that hangs in the foyer of most organizations has little or no ability to inspire and motivate people other than the five or six members of the executive team who created it.
Charismatic leaders take vision one step further
Charismatic leaders are those who have taken a great corporate vision one step further. Charismatic leaders recognize that, for a vision to be charismatic, it must tick two important boxes:
- It must make the work involved important and inspiring – creating a sense of mission
- It must answer the all important question: “What’s In It For Me?”
Craft your vision to address the first criteria and it’s inspiring; craft it to address both and it’s charismatic – and it will drive employee engagement.
Making Work Inspiring
To be inspiring and charismatic your vision must be larger than life – a real stretch, something that would be seen by all to be a real coup when achieved. For example:
- Become the world leader in your field
- Knock a seemingly unbeatable top competitor out of the way
- Changing the entire business model for an industry
- Changing the way the world does business
- Change the lives of everyone on the planet
- Achieving meteoric growth against incredible odds
- Be an extraordinary place to work
- Making incredible profits
- Creating a brand new business model or technology
It is critical that the way in which you present your vision to your people makes them feel part of something altogether bigger than any one of them – something that will change the world as they know it.
Once you have checked that box then you have already charged your vision with a certain amount of charisma – but not enough.
You still also must consider a pay off from realization of your vision that is altogether more personal.
That’s the topic of the next post in this series on becoming a charismatic leader.