leadership

Why Business Leaders need Vision

“Start with the end in mind”

says Stephen Covey, in his landmark 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.

Meanwhile, Fast Company co-founder Alan Webber advocates that entrepreneurs should:

“Answer the final question first”

Two highly successful visionary guys with a consistent key message – but what does this mean for you as an entrepreneur aiming to build your business or startup?

Think back to those other entrepreneurs, bosses, managers or speakers who inspired you – what did they have in common? It is normally the uncanny ability to paint a consistently clear picture of a better future. A better place that, if everyone worked and pulled together as a team, you would reach. In a nutshell, they had vision.

All of these visionary entrepreneurs and business leaders have invested the time to think long-term about their business strategy. To be clear on the intended end game. To achieve this, they will have wrestled with BIG questions like:

  • why are we here as a business – is it to maximise profits, solve a world / local problem, have a good time (or a combination)?
  • do we want to grow the business into a global organisation or do we want to stay small?
  • why would customers buy from us? Are we the best in class, different from the rest or defining a whole new market?
  • are we building a business to sell (if so, over what preferred time duration?) or are we building a life-style business?

BIG questions demanding BIG answers.

The sooner you are clear on exactly why you are in business the easier it will be for you to make the right strategic decisions for the future and inspire others to help you build your business. If all of this is still a little fuzzy in your own mind, I recommend you get yourself out of the office for a strategy blitz to consider the BIG Qs or just go lie on a beach and think, dream and paint a vivid picture in your mind of what success in your business will look and feel like Рsee the end game. Have a vision.

You’ll then know and recognise it when you get there…

Enhanced by Zemanta

Great Leadership Demands A Brave 1st Supporter



Right now, the world needs more Leaders.

Business Leaders. Community Leaders. Not-for-Profit Leaders…. the list goes on.

Leaders have to push themselves out on a limb. Leaders have to stand out from the crowd. Leaders must push the status-quo and challenge accepted ways of thinking. For these reasons, being a Leader can be isolating.

So what is the catalyst that can turn individuals (often initially perceived to be) “lone lunatics” into admired Leaders of Movements?

Answer: a 1st Supporter

Being this 1st Supporter demands bravery (just as brave as being the (about to be saved) isolated, lunatic Leader). The first supporter is often accepted as an equal by the leader – perhaps an element of relief from the Leader to find a kindred spirit. The 1st supporter needs just one more person to join for a crowd to emerge (i.e. 3, the Leader + 1st supporter + 1 other). From this crowd, a Movement can develop.

Nowhere is this more perfectly demonstrated than in the above talk by Derek Sivers. Watch how the (initially) perceived dancing “nutter” is quickly enveloped by those eager to become part of the in-crowd – those who had, up until a few minutes before, watched with a mixture of amusement and horror from the safety of the crowds. But they stood up and joined in – all due to the bravery of that 1st supporter. Fascinating stuff.

Lesson: Great Leadership can only emerge by virtue of that single 1st brave supporter.

So can you see an opportunity to be THAT 1st Supporter and be the much needed catalyst to help create a Movement?