Seth Godin is my favourite marketing guru, and he recently published a free e-book that has statements from 70+ great thinkers. For me, reading these statements was the perfect way to reflect on the past year and motivate myself for a big 2010.
There was one slide in particular that resonated for me. The ability to create a vision is a product management skill that I have really tried to build, but I never realised that by creating a vision you are demonstrating leadership. It is so easy to put vision in the “too hard” basket and let your daily grind expand to fill your day. A leader rises above this by setting a vision that resonates with those around you and motivates them to do the same.
In a down economy – particularly one that has taken most of us by surprise – things get very tactical. We are just trying to survive. What worked yesterday does not necessarily work today. What works today may not necessarily work tomorrow. Decisions become pragmatic.
But after a while this wears on people. They don’t know why their efforts matter. They cannot connect their actions to a larger story. Their work becomes a matter of just going through the motions, living from weekend to weekend, paycheck to paycheck.
This is where great leadership makes all the difference. Leadership is more than influence. It is
about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build – and why it matters. It is about painting a picture of a better future.It comes down to pointing the way and saying, “C’mon. We can do this!”
When times are tough, vision is the first casualty. Before conditions can improve, it is the first thing we must recover.