"Dissatisfaction and discouragement are not caused by the absence of things, but the absence of vision."
This article in for anyone who is currently unsure, unknowing, on-the-fence, and/or otherwise "searching" for the answer to whether or not he/she can be an effective leader.
The answer? Quite simply is: "Maybe" or "Maybe Not"!
No, we are not trying to be funny or in any way make light of the question.
The simple truth of the matter is this. Whether you think you can be an effective leader, OR you think you can't be - You Are Right!
Just take a moment and think about the original question. "Can I be an effective leader?" We challenge you to ask this question again, but in a slightly different way.
Rather than asking, "Can I ...?" - Instead ask: "WILL I be an effective leader?"
Asking the question this way, makes something very clear to the person asking the question. That "something" is that each of us has a choice to make as to what we want to be in any given moment. THE CHOICE IS OURS.
Vision in Leadership is very much about making choices. Leaders make choices everyday that affect many other people. Because of the responsibility and accountability that comes with leadership, a good leader makes choices based on strong principles and beliefs.
Choosing a specific path or vision for your team or your company, is done most effectively by following the L.P.B.-It method.
The title of this article is "L.P.B.-IT! - The Power of Vision". L.P.B. stands for the following:
LEAVE IT! - When faced with an important decision, it is sometimes easy to focus in on all the reasons why we shouldn't do something versus why we should, or why perhaps it won't work versus why it will.
Leave It - makes the point that a strong leader routinely makes the choice to "leave" negative thinking behind. There are plenty of nay-sayers who accomplish little or nothing. YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO BE ONE OF THEM.
On a regular basis, step at least "1 inch" outside your comfort zone. That is where all the action is!
In fact, everything you have ever wanted and have thus far been unable to obtain, is more than likely located "outside" this comfort zone.
To be a successful leader, you must be "uncomfortably successful". Make this choice now!
Perceive It! - A strong leader's perception is truly a powerful tool. Effective leaders perceive things differently in most cases from others.
For instance, go anywhere in Smalltown, USA or Ruralville, America where Walmart, Costco, Home Depot or some other huge bulk outlet store has just come to town.
Local retailers in these little towns have nightmares about this scenario playing out in their own backyards. The thought of having to compete against Goliath is extremely frightening.
No one would argue the fact that these local retailers have a right to be concerned. But, if our L.P.B.-It method really works, shouldn't we "leave" these negative thoughts aside? Answer: YES!
The truth of the matter is that no amount of fear is going to change the minds of large chain executives. They will either make the decision to open, or they won't. If they do choose to expand to these markets, you should know that they are well aware of your fears. In fact, these executives are counting on this fear.
Instead of "perceiving" the bulk stores as the enemy. Why not "perceive" them as an opportunity? YOUR - Ace In The Hole!
Opportunity may come in many forms, but we must seize the moment and perceive the opportunity in order to avoid becoming the victim of circumstance.
Examples of potential opportunities from the above scenario:
- Traffic patterns may change so perhaps a relocation of your business may be great for future growth.
- Land values may rise in certain areas. Buying now and selling later may be a wise investment for an early retirement.
- Increased competition typically increases quality for the consumer. More choices make service and quality more important. Price is not always the deciding factor. Know what your customers' value most and deliver.
- Identify a niche for positioning your current business, or open a new business that can take advantage of the increased traffic and that can compliment the incoming bulk store.
If you weren't willing to compete, perhaps your expertise would be more highly valued as a manager or supervisor at the new bulk store. Potential for stock options, increased benefits, new challenges, etc.
The fact is we could go on and on about possible opportunities in virtually any given situation. It's all based on a person's perception of any given event.
Perceiving things positively by no means ensures success, but understand this; perceiving things negatively virtually guarantees failure.
Again, it's a choice, make yours now!
Believe It! - You may have heard the term "Believing is Achieving".
This is a very simple but powerful phrase that has been proven over and over again. If you think about it, nothing great has ever been achieved until someone has finally comes along with the belief that it should be - and WILL be achieved.
For instance, man first stepped foot on the moon because of a President who firmly believed that we could achieve what many considered impossible.
President Kennedy addressed our nation by saying words to the effect, "some look to the moon and ask why, I look to the moon and ask why not."
Isn't it fair to say that President Kennedy's belief of what could be achieved was very different than the belief of most people? If you agree, you might also concede that it was his strong "belief" that inspired a nation to make the impossible - possible.
In his recent book "Leadership Secrets of Colin Powell" by Oren Harari, he states:
"Perpetual Optimism is a Force Multiplier. The ripple effect of a leader's enthusiasm and optimism is awesome. So is the impact of cynicism and pessimism."
The same point can be made for a leader's strong belief. The power of one's belief and ability to communicate his/her belief to influence others IS awesome.
In conclusion, the L.P.B.-It method is all about making the appropriate choices in order to carry out your vision for success. Vision = Choice Cubed, if you will!
CHOOSE to leave the self-doubt and "can't-do" garbage behind you in order to allow new worlds and new beginnings in.
CHOOSE to see opportunity instead of catastrophe.
CHOOSE to believe in the impossible in order to experience all that IS possible.
The choice really is yours, make it wisely.
Richard Gorham is the founder and President of Leadership-Tools, Inc. His web site, http://www.leadership-tools.com is dedicated to providing free tools and resources for today's aspiring leaders. Offering high-quality tools in the areas of Business Planning, Leadership Development, Customer Service, Sales Management and Team Building.