Things You Can Do, Part 8 – A Positive Leader’s Vision and Relentlessness

A positive leader’s ever-expanding vision for the future of his or her organization is an energizing force. In this, as in so many things, positive leaders are relentless.

If you are a leader and your vision has grown stale, your organization is in trouble and you need to do whatever it takes to recharge and revitalize yourself. The very future of your organization depends on it – your organization depends on you!

Put this quote on the wall of your office and at other high visibility locations throughout your facilities:

“The point at which an idea, process, product, service, or organization can no longer be improved is the precise moment in time that it becomes obsolete.”

There are no leaders who can afford to become complacent and there are no organizations, whether for-profit or not-for-profit; whether manufacturers, assemblers, or service providers that can afford to become stagnant.

The pressure to survive, let alone prosper, in the economy of the Twenty-first Century decade will be extraordinary and whatever one’s venue, entities that cannot compete will surely disappear. This places an exceptional premium on positive leadership.

Many leaders feel over-whelmed by the challenges of leading their people through incessant change and relentless improvement – continuous improvement does not cut it anymore.

Listen carefully – positive leaders neither live nor work in isolation. Positive leadership recognize that every member of their organization is a partner and bears a share of the responsibility for the “relentless improvement” process. Positive leaders enlist the full participation of the people and they establish incentives for creative thinking.

Any leader that guards the creative and decision-making process and restricts participation to a select few is doomed to fail. Make relentless improvement an expectation of everyone in your organization and include it in your performance management system. If your organization does not have a performance management system, create one. Create ad hoc brainstorming teams, pulling people from all departments and levels of the organization. Celebrate excellence and creativity at every opportunity. Share information about performance and work to create an ownership mentality throughout your organization. These are characteristics of winning organizations.

As a leader, take the time to talk to as many of your people as possible. Thank them for their effort, share your vision and elevate both your expectation and theirs. Teach your people to feel like winners and you will discover that there are few things in the work world more exciting than being a part of a winning organization.

Being part of a winning organization creates a self-perpetuating cycle in which a leader’s vision seems to expand magically. Just like an answer to a question will lead to multiple new questions, the introduction of a new idea spawns creation of a chain of new ideas.

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