I began the month July by celebrating the Entrepreneurial Freedom we enjoy in the United States. Throughout the month, I highlighted Socially Conscious Businesses and Entrepreneurs who combine making big profits with making a profound impact in their communities and the world.
Those companies didn't get to where they are today by chance. Great leaders, ones who crafted strong visions of what was possible, guided them to their current level. As we begin a new series of articles, I would like to talk about what it means to be a visionary leader; specifically, how developing a strong vision will impact your team, your customers and your ability to lead. Moreover, why it is essential for sustained business success.
"If an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself except its basic beliefs as it moves through corporate life...The only sacred cow in an organization should be its basic philosophy of doing business." - Jim Collins
In my mind, the beliefs that Jim Collins is talking about, that one thing in your organization that must holdfast while everything changes is a foundational belief in it's vision - the vision that guides it forward.
As you read through these 3 simple questions, be honest and sincere with yourself. Remember that we are talking about a new model of leadership; one in which you win (and lead) at your highest level by helping both others and society win as well, by creating a Triple Wintm.
QUESTION 1: Do you have a clear and fire-burning vision for what you want to accomplish?
QUOTE 1: "The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet." - Theodore Hesburgh
Conscious leaders have a big vision of what is possible. Moreover, it is a vision in which they have a fire-burning passion to achieve. They turn their vision into a powerful purpose for their life and their business, and they use that purpose as a key driver that catapults their business forward, whether a small entrepreneurial business or a large organization.
You have to understand and accept that it is your responsibility to dream the future so vividly and communicate it so precisely that others feel a sense of connection to your purpose. Further, this purpose must be something you passionately feel so strongly, that your impassioned drive to achieve it becomes contagious to all those with whom you come in contact - from team members, to customers, to each person you meet on a daily basis.
QUESTION 2: Have you put together a team of people who believe in, and feel not only connected to, but empowered by your vision?
QUOTE 2: "If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
As a leader, when you understand and are able to convey your vision with clarity, you have the ability to leverage that when building and managing your team. You will need the labor and expertise of others to succeed, but to receive the most from your employees and partners, you want them to feel vested into your vision - mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. It needs to literally uplift their spirit and bring them to an higher real of shared consciousness.
This is the key to empowering your team to take ownership of their responsibilities, to feel pride in the work they contribute and to push themselves to new heights in pursuit of your organizations collective success.
QUESTION 3: Do you have loyal customers who connect with, and feel like they are a part of your organization because of your vision?
QUOTE 3: "Our most valuable resource is our people. They will take the vision to a touchdown or drop the ball. How that vision is conveyed can either create enthusiasm or resistance. If you can help them imagine the picture of the future company and how they will have a hand in creating and benefiting from it, you have taken steps to design a shared vision based on shared values. That will be the fuel that will take your company to its next generation." - Atlantic Consultants
In many ways, loyal customers, a tribe, who feel a deep connection with your organization and it's mission, is a byproduct of having a clear vision and a team that supports that vision. That kind of passion and simpatico will organically shine through in your products, your customer service and the interactions you and your teams have with others.
Building and sharing your vision with consumers will allow them to develop a deeper and more meaningful connection with your brand; this affinity for your business, for your vision, gives them a sense of belonging and pride in their contribution towards your cause.
The Conscious Millionaire Institute has a vision of empowering entrepreneurs and business owners to live richer, fuller and more meaningful lives; to build businesses that make big profits by help others and contributing to the greater good of the world. This occurs when individuals become strong and visionary leaders, and to that end, we are committed to helping you become a better leader - one who uplifts your people, your community of customers, and the society in which you do business.
Has this article challenged you, or connected some of the dots for how you might better lead and manage your business? Do you have stories of how your vision and purpose have propelled you to greater heights? I would love to hear about this in the comment box below...
J V Crum III is the founder of ConsciousMillionaire.com; as a business coach and speaker, he is sought after for his unique ability to help entrepreneurs and executives integrate their strengths and passions into a well-defined strategy for creating high profits and making a big difference in the world. J V holds an MBA, JD and a MS in Psychology; his best-selling book, "Conscious Millionaire: Grow Your Business by Making a Difference" is available now: http://www.amazon.com/Conscious-Millionaire-Business-Making-Difference/dp/0976719223/ref=tmm_pap_title_0
Follow J V Crum III on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jvcrum