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Taking the lead in new adventures
"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We can be successful leaders in many ways. One aspect of leadership that can be a significant challenge is to lead our people in a new direction.
The world in which we live and work is always changing, and we need to bring our people from where they are now to a future in which they are (hopefully) successful, fulfilled, and motivated to see what more they can accomplish.
This starts with a vision. If something is not working for your company, think about what you WANT it to be like. And then think about what it would take to make that happen. If you see an opportunity for growth or improvement, think about what you WANT that response to look like. If there is a potential threat like a market shift looming, think about what your firm could change in order to end up okay in the end. This is part of developing that VISION for success.
Some people come at this from a process position: “If we do more of X, more of Y, and phase out Z, would we improve revenue?” “Others start with a Big-Picture concept and work out the process to achieve it: “If we want to increase our market share in this region, what are some of the ways we can make that happen?” Develop your vision in the way that works effectively for you.
Once you have an idea, ask yourself:
What do I want to do? (What’s the goal?)
How do I want to do it? (What’s the process?)
What concerns do I have about making this happen? (Do we have the funding? Will some change-averse shareholders be barriers to implementation? Do we have the necessary knowledge, experience, training, etc. to do it? What else could get in the way?)
The first two questions are to develop what you want to do, and the third is to maximize your success by anticipating potential issues—which you can then address effectively. Make sure you know where the ditches are on the path, so you are prepared to build bridges that will get you safely over them.