Monday, June 4, 2007

VISION (Part 3): I can see clearly Now!

"Any leader who has no one following him is just taking a walk (Old Chinese saying)."

The first challenge of any leader is self-leadership; the second is the challenge to lead other people. In both cases vision is paramount- you cannot lead without it.
Recently, I listened to someone give the difference between leadership and management. He said managers were responsible for the day to day running of a corporation. Their only problem is that they find it hard to look beyond today. A leader on the hand looks beyond today- a leader looks into the future and inspires people to go there.
However, its worth noting that for any organization to succeed you need both Leaders and Managers.Leaders provide the vision and inspiration and managers make sure that the organization stays on course with the vision on a day to day basis.

Leading people is a big challenge and am learning that rather quickly. The thing that makes people difficult to lead is that everyone has their own mind and its the leader's job to bring everyone to a oneness in mind. Without focus no organization can go anywhere and that's where vision comes in.
Vision provides focus. Vision inspires Action. Vision gives us a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Vision is the life line of any person and organization.

Dr. John C. Maxwell likens vision to a compass. In his book the 21 Irrefutable laws of Leadership; Dr Maxwell talks about The Law of Navigation. The Law of Navigation can be summarized in this quote; "Anyone can steer a ship but it takes a Leader to chart a course." Leadership is all about charting courses. Jack Welch, the chairman of general electric says " A good leader stays focused...controlling your direction is better than being controlled by it." Vision is what provides control.

Leaders always see the big picture. They anticipate the challenges and think through how they would handle obstacles that the journey presents. Leaders understand exactly what it takes to get to the place they have envisioned. They may not see every potential pitfall but they have the guts to handle each one as it presents itself. Leaders never cut and run; they face problems head on and see only victory.

Leaders are innovators. They are always thinking of how to do something better and more effectively.
Leaders are pioneers. They do not like to hear that something cannot be done. Leaders have a CAN DO IT ATTITUDE.

For Africa and the third world to move ahead and lead the world we need Leaders. Men and women who will steer the ship in the right direction. But it all starts with you and me. Our natural inclination is to point to other people as potential leaders and never see ourselves as part of the solution. If no one says it to you I will; YOU ARE A LEADER and begin to see yourself that way.
Develop vision and create focus in your life. We have the potential to do great things but it takes work. Potential energy only turns to kinetic energy when force and or motion are applied.

So what are you doing in terms of developing vision for your life? Are you working hard and smart and steering the course for yourself and those you lead?
For those of you that have not had a chance to read any of Dr. Maxwell's books please make an effort to do so; they will challenge your life.
The other land mark work is by Dr. Myles Munroe entitled THE SPIRIT OF LEADERSHIP. This book changed my life. Check it out!!
I will leave you with this acrostic from Dr. Maxwell to remind you to always look and plan ahead.

Predertermine a Course of Action

Lay out your goals

Ajust your priorities

Notify key personel

Allow for time of acceptance

Head into action

Expect problems

Always point to the successes

Daily review you plan


Jonas said...

Dear Campbell, thanks a lot for your post, it is really enriching my life and i bet the lives of many others. One area i would love to focus on that you tackled is Innovation.

Please i do not mean to sound so Sarcastic but African leaders lack the scope to invent, this had led to a syndrome of begging that is slowly been imparted on other generations and God forbid that it takes root.

Africa is rich in resources but resources without leadership go down the drain take a look at DRC (Central Africa).The moment we impart the spirit of innovation Africa will see a great change. Dubai just a few years ago though rich in oil and gas was just another desert city, but it took one great young man by the name of Sheikh Mohammed to turn Dubai into a city of Gold.

I remember what he said when he took over the ruler ship of Dubai he said and i quote “I do not know if I am a good leader, but I am a leader. And I have a vision. I look to the future, 20, 30 years. I learned that from my father, Sheikh Rashid. He was the true father of Dubai. I follow his example. He would rise early and go alone to watch what was happening on each of his projects. I do the same. I watch. I read faces. I take decisions and I move fast. Full throttle.”

Please note these points, the most vital aspect is having a vision, you may not be a good leader but once you possess vision believe you me you are on the right track (you have it in you to become a great leader). Another aspect is he learnt from his father, we are lacking fathers in Africa not just in homes but also fathers to just groom young men to become great leaders (Unselfish spirit). He also does this he watches, read faces and acts fast. He will watch because vision is seeing, he will read a face because a face shows you peoples faith and he acts i and he says full throttle. Acting fast getting an opportunity and grabbing it fast. Note this he learnt for 20 to 30 years from his father, he possessed a spirit of patience, i guess through those years he must have urged with his father but he learnt their is no harm in learning even when it hurts just learn, humble yourself.

Let the spirit of innovation be within each one of us. I live you with a quote by Sheik Mohammed (am liking this man)

As Sheikh Mohammed himself stated: "A man has two choices, either to be a follower or to show initiative, and we greatly desire to be pioneers

Campbell Lumbila said...

Wow, Great stuff. First thank you for your comment. I wont say much because people need to hear from people like you as well. All I can say is ahead and be an innovator. This is what we're striving for. If we can have a few young people to take on the challenge of leadership in Africa and the Third world, we would certainly change the world.
I also like the Sheikh and we do have a choice to make because working for someone else is certainly safer but being an enterpreneur is about risk and taking initiative. I choose to take risks and show initiative and I know that you do too and may many more join us.

Like I always say I Love the USA because the bedrock of American progress is innovation. May we get just even a bit of America's spirit to change our world.

Destiny Awaits Team said...

What a clear, concise explanation of what it means to be a leader. I want to say that being a leader can be a lonely road, because there are many managers. Such people expect leaders to handle the daily details and get involved in all the daily grind. But as a leader the most important thing is to know your priorities and to get your hands involved only in those things that will lead to the overall success of your personal and public vision.

Thank you for your encouragement in leadership and for affirming that a life lead by vision is godly and necessary for success. There will be many nay sayers, but thanks for being a voice of conviction and inspiration.

Dan King said...

Great post! I also enjoy learning from Maxwell and Munroe. They both have offered some fantastic insight into what it means to be a leader.

I work in a very large secular company, and I feel like I have an opportunity to be just as innovative as an entreprenuer. There is an element of "safety" where I am at, but I still enjoy taking risks, and it is that attitude that has allowed me to succeed at great rates, and probably more than if I were self employed.

Innovation is what makes the world go around, and keeps progress going. And I think that no matter where you are at, if you can grab hold of an innovative vision, then you are on the right track to being a great leader.

Great post! Thank you!

Dan King
management by God