Leadership: Vision + Relationship
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When a person trades their time and energy, they typically consider two things:

1. How much it will benefit themselves.

2. How much they believe in the vision.

As the boss, this means that if you want your employees to dedicate their precious limited resources of time towards your company’s goals, you have to:

A. Give them more benefits (i.e. pay them more)

B. Have a vision that inspires them to want to do things because it contributes to something greater.

Employees can normally tell when they are being bought. As a leader, this is why knowing your “why” and repeating it internally is so important. In what way are you or your company contributing/changing/influencing the world?

For customers, Simon Sinek stated that people buy your product because of what the company or product represents about themselves. Without vision, people will be aimless and look for the next thing that tickles the emotion.

Recently, I read a leadership quote that said:

“People join because of great vision, but leave because of poor leadership.”

I love this quote because people want to be part of something great and greater than themselves; however, if there is poor leadership which creates a horrible, unsafe environment, then they would rather contribute their talents someplace else.

As a leader seeking to inspire, we must remember you can’t force anyone to do anything (even the threat of “boss power” does not take away choice). The only thing you can truly control is yourself: your attitude, your thinking, and your responses. Through these means, you can aim to influence.

I take solace in the Serenity Prayer, which can be summarized: God, give me the grace to accept the things that cannot be changed, Courage to change the things that can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

How does change begin?
For starters, it begins with self awareness. You have to learn how you think, and pay attention to what is going on in your heart.

How do you do that?
Pay attention to your emotions. Your emotions give you a window into your heart. Emotions are not reality, but they are signals and symptoms of things going on in your heart (see video below).

Are you angry? Ask yourself why. Are you jealous of someone? Why? Why do certain activities make you happy? Are you afraid to do something? Why? When an emotion pops up during a thought or situation, it helps to remember and write it down. Revisit it and ask why you felt that way. You’ll find that it is probably rooted in something that happened to you in the past. It could be something you observed and learned from someone else. This is the beginning of emotional intelligence.

The next component in change is humility. Proverbs 29:1, “He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.” This verse reminds me why our principle of humility is so important. Here, it talks about being corrected when you are wrong, or perhaps when there is a better way to do things. You have several responses which only you can control. If you decide to fight it or argue – even though you might win the small “battle” – if this keeps happening over and over, eventually you will be broken beyond healing. And then you become bitter and resentful to everything and everyone.

I’ve seen this many times in marriages, where the husband and wife criticize each other, and instead of forgiveness and growth, there is constant nagging and criticizing. This may work for a certain amount of time, but if you don’t allow a person to be encouraged and really feel authenticity, and allow a safe place to express themselves, after a certain amount of time (1 year, 2 years, 5 years, etc) they will break.

Only when people are humble and really try to understand the other person’s perspective, (you don’t have to agree with them) but understand their logic, will build genuine relationships and empathy, along with emotional intelligence.

Let’s rise above and lead.

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