Extraordinary Introverted Leaders

“Ordinary people believe only in the possible. Extraordinary people visualize not what is possible or probable, but rather what is impossible. And by visualizing the impossible, they begin to see it as possible” – Cherie Carter-Scott

When most people think of a leader, they think of someone who is an extrovert- outgoing, charismatic, socially interactive with other people, able to give a speech or presentation and someone who has confidence and can make great decisions. Until recently, it has been found that for several years many leaders who create and produce high performance levels have actually been introverted leaders. To name a few, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway, former CEO Brenda Barnes of Sara Lee, movie magnate Steven Spielberg, and Former Sun Microsystems executive Jim Green. Most organizations did not see how valuable introverts are especially with our creativity and innovativeness.

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe, American professional tennis player

Introverts are hardly a bunch of shy wallflowers – they are proven leaders who can be great leaders and public speakers. Introverts possess some crucial qualities that make them especially well-suited for powerful positions. Introverts are great at conversing with others because they listen and respond well.

The quiet revolution actually started years ago when some introverts decided they did not want to play follow the leader anymore to become the leader others follow. By turning Good Leaders into Great Leaders, introverts become great leaders because we think about what we can do differently in being creative and innovative with getting great results.

First, find out What is Your Leadership Style? The more an introvert climbs up the corporate ladder you need to learn more about developing your leadership and how you specifically lead. There are many who can lead quite well with ease as long as you know how to present themselves well enough to have this take place.

Play to Your Strengths: If you are an introverted leader, one of the best things you can do is recognize your strengths and know how to highlight them. These traits can give you a decided advantage when it comes to the performance of your team. As an introvert, you tend to be measured by your responses rather than react to them, therefore you are likely to be highly analytical and a good listener. Your natural aversion to risk makes you a steady leader. And when you do speak, you are frequently the voice of reason and thus, often the voice most listened to.

Surround Yourself with Complementary Team Members: You can capitalize on the introvert’s advantage by selecting team members who complement your quieter, more reserved approach to leadership. Know that your style of leadership will result in the most productive teams if you encourage your employees to be enterprising.

Create a Productive Environment:  Remember that introverts need quiet spaces and alone time in order to do their best work. With a unique blend of characteristics, introverted leaders are just as capable to make great decisions, conduct and implement strategic plans, communicate well with others both on a one-to-one and speech making basis. Besides having a creative mindset, introverted leaders can be at ease in networking, as we know how to lead using the skills, talent and strengths we possess.

As an introvert, you need to show your accomplishments and how good-to-great you really are. Others will not take your word. They need to see you create and produce a few extraordinary breakthrough results in order to feel good about you. You need to open-up to people such as in leadership-by-walking and interact socially with others. Ask questions and show you are interested in who you employees are.

Leadership begins with you – and you will not succeed as a leader unless you have some sense of who you are. Your colleagues – potential followers – have a simple but basic need: they want to be led by a person not by a corporate party-line official. It is unlikely that you will be able to inspire, arouse, excite or motivate people unless you can show them who you are, what you stand for, and what you can and cannot do.

Maximize Your Leadership Potential as an Introvert: In order to maximize your leadership, you need to make yourself more visible to others. This includes your employees and to your company executives. Introverted New Yorker journalist Malcolm Gladwell observes that speaking on stage “has nothing to do with extroversion. It’s a performance, and many performers are hugely introverted.”

Conduct yourself with leadership-by-walking as you spend about 30 minutes every day talking with employees to find out how things are going and finding out their thoughts, opinions and feelings on things in general. Crowded rooms and small talk are never comfortable for the introvert.

Putting Empowerment in Employee Hands: Research has shown that when an extroverted CEO leads extroverted/introverted employees, the employees are told what to do & how to do the work assigned. An introverted CEO stays behind the scenes after giving the task/assignment primarily to extroverted employees. The employees are told here’s the task/assignment, use your critical thinking skills, & if you have a problem/challenge, talk with other co-workers. The introverted CEO always gives credit/recognition to their employees, & they give them some leeway, where most extroverted leaders do not. As a result, the CEO’s of introverted organizations have higher productivity than those of extroverted CEO’s. Since introverts think a lot more than extroverts, introverted leaders are a lot more creative and innovative. With this in mind, introverted leaders empower their employees to use their critical thinking skills, prefer employees to work using an “entrepreneurial” mind-set, and discuss barriers, obstacles and challenges with their co-workers, and want to listen to what their employees have to say regarding the work they are assigned.

Say Goodbye to Your Comfort Zone!: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. To be a leader, because of all the things you have to do and the unexpected challenges that occur, you will need to act on those things to move your company forward. To be extraordinary, you need to get out of your every day routine and accept that you are going to do things different than you have done before.

Listening Skills: Often times, leaders do a lot of talking and do not want to listen to the thoughts, ideas, or opinions of others. Introverts prefer listening instead of talking. Listening to the ideas of others helps you make the decisions you need to make.

Moving Beyond Expectation: There are challenges in both leadership and in being introverted. You need to step out of your comfort zone from time to time and challenge yourself to experience new and different things that relate to both your introversion and that of being a leader. Leadership for introverts can sometimes take a lot of effort. Leaders can’t lead without dealing with people in a multitude of settings. If I am not willing to compensate, you should not be a leader.

“If you want to lead an extraordinary life, find out what the ordinary do–and don’t do it.” -Tommy Newberry

Introverts Leading from a Different Perspective

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think Different 

Is one approach different from another when reaching for the same goal? Most people are taught or trained to achieve a specific goal(s), you have to use a specific way or formula in order to get to the end result. Introverts, think first before actually starting to get to where we want to go. This means, we use our own way of getting to the end results on our own.

Each perspective has its strengths and weaknesses. The perspective introverts take goes beyond the traditional. Introverts, many times, look at all angles of how to achieve bottom line results in any extraordinary way. By extraordinary, I mean non-traditional, exceptional, unconventional, being a maverick.

“A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people

where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be”   -Rosalynn Carter

Both the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) by … and David Keirsey’s Temperament Sorter yield 8 different personality preferences where four extroverted and four introverted, and each person is pegged into one of the specific groupings. Depending on where you fit within a personality preference type, shows how you may demonstrate being a leader or that leadership does not fit for you and you may be better off in a different position within the world of work.

The ideas of introverted leaders often remain unspoken until they speak which is thought-provoking for many. Their thoughts and ideas help create and produce higher productivity rates than expected. It has a lot to do with the style of leadership introverts have with employees. They empower employees to be open, and use their creativity and innovativeness. On top of this, employees know what the vision and goal(s) are and work toward them and move beyond the basics.

Analytical thinkers are reserved quiet people. Typically, analytical types need very few people around them. Adjective words that describe your type include: introvert, rational, intellectual, skeptical, critical, quiet, precise, independent, creative, inventive, abstract, eccentric, curious, reserved, imaginative, unsocial, determined, careful,

By having a vision different from traditional views to reach your specific goal(s), looking at things from other perspectives helps you take action to make things happen.

“Some people see the glass half full. Others see it half empty”
“I see a glass that’s twice as big as it needs to be.” 

 George Carlin

Leaders Developing the Mindset of their Employees

“Every challenge you encounter in life is a fork in the road. You have the choice to choose which way to go – backward, forward, breakdown or breakthrough.”
― Ifeanyi Enoch Onuoha

Breakdown  to Breakthrough

Which Direction Do You Want to Go for

Extraordinary Results?

Food for Thought: How do you create a paradigm-breakthrough mindset when others still work with a traditional one? Many leaders in the workplace have lost their competitive edge. Some due to their leadership style that is outdated, where others cling onto the traditional ways of working their employees. If you are going to thrive in today’s business climate, you need to be more creative and innovative. In doing so, your employees need to work differently as if they were their own entrepreneurs.

Working for you is one thing. Working as an employee is another. Then working as an employee where you actually work as an “entrepreneur” where the company wants you to break the rules as an employee and create and produce breakthrough results is something totally different. This is where the leaders of the company have different expectations of you and you get to use your strengths, skills and talent to tap your maximum hidden potential and get paid more than being a regular employee.

Changing the mindset of an organization is not easy. The factors constituting organizational empowerment create a change in the mindset of the organization. Most leaders give instructions for an assignment, task or project to their employees. If an employee has a problem such as an obstacle/barrier, they typically run to their supervisor or manager. Employees rely on someone telling them what to do. This transformation is a “change” in mindset.

Individual’s behaviors and achievements come from the way in which they view the world. This ‘world view’ is formed over a person’s lifetime and is shaped by many factors

Employees who have entrepreneurial mindsets are empowered by their leaders to think differently when creating and producing breakthrough results. You do not have to own a business to be an entrepreneur. Many people with an entrepreneurial mindset sometimes do not start their own companies for years or may not do so at all. Entrepreneurs provide direction and take immediate action on things they have control over.

“There is one major requirement when having an entrepreneur mindset, and its learning to step outside of your comfort zone and remain there on a regular basis”
-Mark Harbert

Leaders need to assess the skills and talent of their employees and see if they are capable of tapping into their hidden abilities to create and produce higher performance levels.

Employees follow the crowd, create and produce the same results 5 days every week. Employees need someone to motivate them. Employees have limited resources and need permission to go outside-the-box, are not willing to take risks, are responsible to themselves, are clock-watchers as they work for so many hours per day and get paid for those hours, and have a limited career path. Employees focus on the problem and not get to the root cause of the problem or challenge.

The goal for many leaders is to transform each employee’s ability and commitment to perform in the top 10% of their organizations leaders. The entrepreneur mindset is opportunity driven toward extraordinary results. Entrepreneurs have a vision and a goal they work toward. Entrepreneurs are self-motivated. Entrepreneurs are creative and innovative, and can work using these resources. Entrepreneurs who work for employers have a mindset that is creative and think inside and outside-the-box, willing to take risks and learn new strategies for higher performance, are accountable and responsible for themselves and for what they create, are not clock-watcher and do not mind working longer hours to get their work accomplished. Finally, entrepreneurs are solution-oriented.

Since people are different and unique in how they think and do things. The idea of creating and producing extraordinary results essentially needs your employees to shift their thinking from an “employee mindset” to an “entrepreneurial” one in order to achieve greater performance. When your employees begin to think proactively, then breakthrough results occur.

Your Mindset Determines Your Results

Converting Employee Motivation into Performance

Creating & Producing Breakthrough Results

Struggling to enable employees to perform at their best, despite workers feeling motivated to go above and beyond the call of duty, the idea of motivating employees to perform beyond their best needs work. In motivating and inspiring your employees to create and produce breakthrough results, you need to create a culture of a High Performance Organization.

Employees + Inspiration + Motivation = Performance of Breakthrough Results

How many of your employees hate change, even a little change? Most people hate change because it disrupts your daily routine. What if you changed for the better doing what you already do and added responsibilities you really want in your job?

The idea of motivating and inspiring employees to be empowered and use more of your hidden strengths, skills and talent to create and produce extraordinary breakthrough results while having the emotional connection of greater job satisfaction.

In motivating and inspiring employees, your leaders must be able to allow employees to create and produce great breakthrough results. Leaders sometimes elevate themselves in order to empower their employees to be challenged to the vision and goals they set higher for each month to reach the main goal by the end of each year.

Empower Your Employees

“Start with good people, lay out the rules, communicate with your employees, motivate them and reward them. If you do all those things effectively, you can’t miss.”
– Lee Iacocca

By empowering your employees, give them a few more responsibilities and decision making authority for the things they are working on. By motivating and inspiring employees to go from ordinary to being extraordinary performers, leaders will be able to create and produce an organization of high-performance while employees will be able to expand on their strengths, skills and talent to think more critically of what they do. Focus on developing strategic perspective in driving the results they need to achieve and go beyond them.

Igniting each employee in having a “Can-Do” attitude and believe they can perform higher levels of challenged work, this helps them to shift gears and use their strengths, skills and talent as well as use their critical thinking skills to focus more on the work they do.

Leaders require employees to be comfortable with being uncomfortable as they take calculated risks to create and produce extraordinary breakthrough results.

“Tell me and I’ll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I’ll understand.”
-Chinese Proverb

Elevate Your Mindset
Elevating your mind means thinking big, thinking about how things fit together- viewing things from above it all, where one is able to fully comprehend the significance to the whole.

Establish Stretch Goals
Inspiring and motivating employees in gradually having them use their strengths, skills and talent in challenging projects leading to create and produce breakthrough results.
Listen more, speak less.

“Most leaders say too little, wait too long, and hold back when they should have stepped in”
-John Zenger & Kathleen Stinnett

Show your employees that you value input and collaboration. Cultivate the habit of asking open-ended questions. Leaders can align their actions based on what you hear from employees who do the week.

Shift Your Mindset
Inspiring workplaces are places where people feel motivated to perform at their best potential and to contribute their ideas for the betterment of the organization.

Be focused on executing your best and create the best results you are capable of. With a “Can-Do” attitude, as well as training and development from leaders, employees are recognized for thinking critically in order to solve problems and challenges.

“Anyone who says they work just for the money has given up the hope that anything more is possible.”
– Peter Block

Leaders, who inspire and motivate their employees, communicate daily with their employees. By inspiring others to think and act in ways that drive results, great leaders inspire their teams to believe they can succeed.

Never underestimate the power of acknowledgement and how it leads to breakthrough performance.

How Everyday Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
-Albert Einstein-

Successfully tackling the ever-present issue of growing companies to help build breakthrough organizations, you need to focus on the ways that ordinary people work to create and produce extraordinary results.

Marshall Goldsmith challenges you by asking, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There. Whatever got you to reach the performance levels you have been getting will not help you reach the next level of where you want to go. The blind spots, flaws, weaknesses or even the habit that you had previously, needs to change in order to move you and your organization beyond your expectation.

Helping your employees to achieve extraordinary results takes a lot of time and effort. Many managers and supervisors do not want to do this. Most leaders just want the assigned work completed. How do you get your organization to achieve extraordinary results?

Explore the Dynamics of Your Breakthroughs

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”—Lao-tzu

The following factors help you and your organization to achieve extraordinary results. Be patient as they will not automatic take place. Just like with any habit, give each 21 days to be incorporated into your thinking and behaviors as long as you work on them on a daily basis.

Say Goodbye to Your Comfort Zone!
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Every decision, assignment and way of doing things will be both challenge and risk-taking. To be extraordinary, you need to get out of your every day routine and accept that you are going to do things different than you have done before.

Mindset Shift
Achieving extraordinary business results requires extraordinary ways of thinking.
Using your critical thinking skills inside and outside the-box both have their advantages. As long as you begin to look for the exceptional, remarkable, a different way of getting things done that make you use your critical thinking, you are on your way to become extraordinary
Transforming yourself, your team, and your organization to achieve extraordinary results is where your journey needs to go to if you want to thrive beyond survival mode.

Getting Buy-In
Your best leaders get great performances from their employees. Typically, your best leaders account for less than 25% of the total headcount, while the majority of leaders are underachieving.
Getting your employees to buy-in to the changes from ordinary to extraordinary, you need to understand, this is where new leadership style takes place. Empowering your employees and allowing them in-put to the changes, assigned projects and how to approach situations needs to have you let-go of things. Your employees pick-up on responsibilities that will make them use their critical things skills more, give them decision making skills and discuss issues with co-workers to reduce their challenges to get work completed.

Develop Your Skills
Bridging the gap between what you the leader want to achieve and the ability of your organization to deliver it has a lot to do with developing your employees and having them use the potential strength in their skills and talent.

Finally, being remarkable, exceptional, unconventional etc look at things from different perspectives. This is where you will find the extraordinary. Just like when most people take a photograph of a building. Most people take the picture just like everyone else- you need to look at it from different angles.

Provide your own blueprint of how you see your results. How different are they from the traditional and most importantly, what great results does it yield beyond where you would have been using the same old, same old approach.

How are you optimizing your capacity to achieve the extraordinary results you want?

Can You Lead Through Your Discomfort?

“There is no way to grow or create transformation without feelings of discomfort.”
-Lisa Marie Jenkins-

Leaders can have a major role of “What’s Not Going Well” in the workplace. They should be open to hearing that “I’ve got to do things differently as I tell you to do things differently.” Dr. Brene’ Brown stated as to hoe leaders can normalize discomfort and get the most out of their teams.

Avoiding uncomfortable issues and situations in your personal life is no different from your professional life. O.K., your professional life deals with issues of workplace and how you lead. Think of it this way, if your leadership is stalled at the moment, how does it make you feel? Most leaders hate giving their employees feedback on how they’re doing. As a result, they do this once a year in the form of employee performance reviews, or, at worst, they avoid the process entirely.

It is not going to be comfortable to hear that you need to improve in a certain area, or that you need to stop doing something or that you could do a better job if you changed. Leaders need to normalize situations by saying “I’m uncomfortable also.” In reality, for effective feedback to be real, it should be “uncomfortable”.

Seth Godin’s post on the uncomfortableness of leading where he quotes from his bestselling book on leadership, Tribes:

“It’s uncomfortable to stand up in front of strangers.
It’s uncomfortable to propose an idea that might fail.
It’s uncomfortable to challenge the status quo.
It’s uncomfortable to resist the urge to settle.

When you identify the discomfort, you’ve found the place where a leader is needed.”

Discomfort Allows Growth
Thinking of new and different things and perspectives helps you move yourself forward. As a catalyst for growth, discomfort forces you to change, stretch, and adapt.

As a sign you are making progress, the expression, “no pain, no gain” is true, especially when you push yourself to grow, you will experience discomfort.

Discomfort Builds Confidence
This is where you become more competent in what you do. When you lack the self-confidence, your ability to process stress goes to zero and you start running away from things, instead of confronting them.
Step out of your comfort zone and push beyond yourself to grow.

Discomfort Overcomes Resistance to Change
Resistance to change is a common psychological problem for people who thrive on routine. Resisting change is often seen as a negative posture. The key to overcoming resistance to change is to reframe the way you (or members of your team) think about change.

Change is not possible without discomfort, and because of this, great leaders keep their people uncomfortable. The most successful leaders also keep themselves uncomfortable.

News Flash: Stop avoiding uncomfortable feelings and getting outside your comfort zone is required if you want to learn, grow, and evolve.

Share negative or uncomfortable feedback as it would be very helpful for growth. People typically do not wanting to make anyone uncomfortable, even in an environment where negative feedback it is expected. Valuable feedback is necessary to foster growth and transformation. Learning how to provide valuable feedback to others is just as important. When we don’t receive authentic feedback, we become checked out and begin just going through the motions. This is where process begins superseding human value, connection, and creativity.

Be aware of how your uncomfortable feedback helps both you and the person you are talking with. When leaders normalize discomfort, you invite your work culture to embrace feedback and change.

Forward Thinking Thought Leaders

STOP thinking in the past- Only forward thinking allowed from now on!

  Instigating a leadership revolution within her organization, Dana Bristow decided to shift gears to the point in maximizing her employees to be empowered, use their critical thinking skills and have them begin with finding and using their true potential. While Dana’s organization is still doing well, she wants to stay ahead of her competition.

 You start out with seeing a problem and then try to solve it in a new way. You use your critical thinking skills, get creative and put yourself out for others to notice what you do and maybe how you do what you do best.

How many people do you know who are both forward thinkers and thought leaders? As a traditional leader, sometimes your thoughts go beyond boundaries where you explore pushing beyond the status quo.

Different Mindset is Required

A forward-thinking leader, also known as a visionary, is always thinking in terms of moving forward. Nothing in life is so perfect that it never needs to be redefined or tweaked. In short, someone who is a forward-thinker is thinking progressively and processes the ability to look beyond the “now” and formulates strategies for future success. They are constantly asking “What’s Next?”

One favorite leadership mindset is that of forward thinking. You may not generally consider setting out on a road without a destination, and you certainly would not do it time and time again. Mastering forward thinking takes on a lot as others expect great extraordinary things from you that are of a different perspective than others.

Developing a thought leader mindset takes time, discipline and innovation. Leaders with a growth mindset (who assume talents can be developed) place high value on learning are open to feedback. They are also confident in their ability to cultivate their own and others abilities.

“Individuality is fine, as long as we all do it together.

Frank Burns on the television program M.A.S.H.

 This is definitely not the way or the style forward thinking thought leaders would do things. Many view a thought leader as influential.

Thinking of Possibilities

Some people look at being a forward thinker as having a different mindset. It goes beyond this to develop your critical thinking skills.

Using critical thinking enables leaders at every level to understand the impact of aligning their decisions with organizational goals. Added with this is accountability for the results you want.

Examine your organization. Are you prepared to take risks and explore new ideas? Or are you like many organizations still relying on old habits and old ways of doing things?

 “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths” - Walt Disney

 Being Self-Aware

Take a look in the mirror and see what you really need to be aware of. Be aware of how things affect you and impact you as a leader. Ask for feedback without any backlash to others. Watch for blind spots, fatal flaws, weaknesses and habits that may get in your way so you can resolve them.

Take Some Risks

Forward thinkers are not afraid to take chances and try new things. They stretch the boundaries of what is known and acceptable. Since visionaries are leaders who challenge themselves and their organization to push the envelope of change, have the willingness to admit when you are wrong. This lets your employees know you are accountable and responsible for your actions.

Always ask questions. Ask questions like “Why?” This is very much like what children do. Then ask, “Why not?” “Why can’t we do it?” Even if it hasn’t been done before, can it be done now?

Your Next Move

Navigating where you want to go next needs great vision, setting SMART and HARD goals and communicate clearly to your employees where you see the organization going from here. Get the feedback you need and want in order to see solutions to problems others do not see.

Forward thinking leaders plan for how to bring out the best in themselves and in their people.

 “For every failure, there’s an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour” – Mary Kay Ash

Magnify Your (Employee’s) Strengths to Drive Leadership Success

Magnifying your excellence is just one of those expressions that sticks

Find your Strengths for Career Success

Being exceptional as a leader and leveraging your strengths helps you drive success not just for yourself but for your entire organization as well. Does your organization have exceptional leaders? Maybe you are one.

Working on your strengths is where you need to focus your efforts. Trying to fix your weaknesses, may be a lifelong career in itself. To be an exceptional leader,

Assess Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Look carefully at both your strengths and weaknesses. Remember, some of your weaknesses just might really be a strength you do not use much of. Take notice of what may be holding you back from reaching your goals. Sometimes these same holds may be a habit you need to break and replace with a more positive way of doing things. This also takes place with your attitude as well. Attitudes can have a powerful impact on other people you do business with- internally and externally.

Fix Your Existing People and Processes

Be aware of what may be stopping you from moving forward to reach your goals, such as higher productivity/performance. Look at how your people are working. Do they need training in developing a new skill or in learning new techniques to meet up-to-date goals in order to be aligned with where your leadership wants to take the organization?

Evaluate your current processes. Are they aligned with your people and the goals you want to complete? Do your processes need to be over-hauled, in order to be up-to-date to go beyond where you are right now? What can you keep and what needs to be replaced?

Even though leadership has changed over the years, many organizations have kept the “old” policies and ways of doing things. It just might be time to change whether from one traditional way over another, or to become non-traditional. In changing to become non-traditional, be willing to let go of the “old” and look at alternatives to go beyond survival mode into thrive mode.

Being Open-Minded

Be able to listen to others and do not react immediately to what they say. Think first before speaking helps you think of a solution or of how you want to handle what was said to you. You may even find yourself implementing a suggestion an employee talks with you about. If so, give recognition to the employee.

Proactive versus Reactive

The exceptional leader is always thinking three steps ahead. When a situation occurs, do you react to the situation immediately? Some people panic because they really do not know how to handle situations. During a crisis, many people either freeze or act positively in reducing the problem, difficulty or challenge.

Empower Your Employees

Give some responsibilities to your employees. Allows employees to make some decisions where they also need to solve an issue with other co-workers. Your employees will be satisfied in their job as you allow them to use more of their creative and innovative skills while using their critical thinking skills at the same time.

The question of this post is: How exceptional are you and how are you leveraging your skills and talents and those of your employees to create and produce extraordinary results? (When you magnify your leadership competencies to the level of exceptional, employee engagement increases, productivity rises, and profitability soars.)


Introverted Vision of Leadership

Concealed inside of Jeffrey Landers is an introvert who knows how to lead and needs to get his employees buy-in for his vision for the next level of success. Criticized for his introverted personality Jeffrey has been behind the scenes making sure his employees get the things they need to get work accomplished. He recognizes his employees and in return, there is an increase in productivity that his predecessors did not have before.

“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion.” -Theodore Hesburgh, President of the University of Notre Dame

With the courage, commitment, and passion great leaders have for achieving great results, I believe vision is most important to make the other ingredients work together. The idea of leadership without vision puts you at a disadvantage with regard to where you are now and where you want to go next.

Vision is the cornerstone of great leadership and great accomplishment. An effective vision is critical as it require effective action and this means people cannot spend time checking with an executive every time a critical decision needs to be made.

Jack Welch, CEO of GE said, ‘Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.’ Striving for the vision will always involve change.

In order to reach the leadership spot you had to motivate your teams along the way. Now, you need to continue motivating them to implement strategies, you need to motivate them to bring your vision for the organization to life. When you tap into your skills, talent and knowledge, you communicate your vision and ideas which are fueled by your energy.

Leaders can’t lead without dealing with people in a multitude of settings. If I am not willing to compensate, I should not be a leader.

“Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.” - Jonathan Swift

They must practice LBWA or leadership by walking around. This helps introverted leaders three ways: (1) LBWA gives introverted leaders the opportunity and practice to interact with their employees, (2) as a leader, you can get feedback from employees, and (3) by interacting with employees on a daily basis, your employees will feel a greater satisfaction and you will see their engagement increase. All of this helps the leader see for themselves that their vision is being implemented and you are able to work out any challenges that may occur.

All great leaders have a vision. Leaders share a dream and direction that other people want to share and follow. The leadership vision goes beyond your written organizational mission statement and your vision statement. A vision statement is not a vision. It’s just one of many ways that we can use to express a vision.

Creative and innovative leaders are not stuck in the paradigms of today, but rather see the path for tomorrow. To pull together as a team, the people you lead need a common vision of where you’re trying to go. An effective vision is much broader than a vision statement stuck up somewhere on the corporate head office wall.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a great deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where-” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
– Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Visionary leaders are notable risk-takers. These leaders are willing to take a chance on something they believe in.

Strategic Planner
Visionary leaders are strategic planners. Like a chess player, these leaders plan ahead to make the best business moves. Strategic planning involves creating an action plan with a particular strategy in mind

Visionary Leaders are Have an Open Mindset
Visionary leaders are open to new information, ideas, opinions and suggestions. Inflexible people, once they make up their mind, cannot be persuaded, nor do they continue to search for or take in new information. Visionaries know that each new piece of information can yield an insight that helps solve a problem or create a breakthrough.

Having the vision to break out of the norm and aim for great things is an essential characteristic of good leadership. By seeing what can be and managing the goals on how to get there, a good leader can create impressive change.

Seeing Possibilities
The ability to see possibilities that others don’t see is one of the hallmarks of great leaders. Establishing an inspiring vision is one of your most important responsibilities as a leader. Good visions are compelling. They energize people and drive organizations.

Develop Self-Confidence
Leaders develop the confidence to take the necessary steps to risk falling down and getting back up in order to fulfill their vision. By doing whatever it takes, you need to be brave enough to let the world see through your eyes.

“These types of leaders who focus on vision have an enormous impact on the organization’s growth and profit. Visionary leaders are innovative thinkers and innovation can translate into significant growth opportunities.”

Vision doesn’t only happen on grand scales. It happens every day people commit to a common dream. A good vision is meaningful, inspires employees and drives goal-oriented action. Vision without action remains a dream unfulfilled. Action without vision spins the wheels in neutral. Vision with aligned action can change your world.

You must paint a vision that is desirable, challenging and believable. Just painting the picture is not enough. Illustrate the vision, the goals and the challenges. Without action, visions are just dreams. Where is your organization in relation to your vision?

Leadership Crystal Ball

Which ball do you drop for what priorities?
The Crystal Ball has long been recognized as a symbol of the mysterious unknown and the future. “If I only had a crystal ball…” What would you wish for?

Welcome to 2014. Now is the time to follow through with your New Year’s resolutions as you consider them as goals to complete. How did you spend the New Year’s? Are you ready to say your New Year’s resolutions and this time follow through with them? This year try something a little different than you have in the past.

Of the many lessons corporate executives and leaders learn is perhaps the most is that change happens. The next most important lesson may very well be that to keep managing change is to ride it rather than resist it, understand it and make it work for you. Having a crystal ball at your disposal may not help you predict what is going to happen for you in the next 12 months. As you create your goals, the possible ways of reaching those goals one step at a time, preferably on a monthly basis, you will notice the significance of your skills and those of your employees will help make these goals happen.

Being successful in 2014 is not about your skills abilities per se. It is not about your actions or activities either. Being successful does not even depend on having a great plan. The most important secret to your success in 2014 is making sure that you never stop!

Get Clear on Winning: Your employees have 2 questions permanently etched on their minds: Where are we going as an organization and how will we get there. Your most important task as a leader is to answer those questions by painting a rich and vivid picture of what winning looks like for your organization. Get very clear on your vision and set the unique specific goals you expect to complete by December 31, 2014. What do you want to achieve and how will you get there?

What’s Working: Continue focusing on what’s working. This will help you move forward. Do not focus on what isn’t working. By doing so, this will take time and effort away from what you need to concentrate on that will yield your best results.

Be proactive in taking action on your goals with follow through. You may find that the growth of your organization can surpass your competition beyond average growth.

Don’t Limit New Ideas: Look for new product and service ideas and other ways to improve your systems and processes. Sometimes the best ideas come from unlikely sources. If your biggest challenge is to become more creative and innovative, look carefully at how each of your employees are using their maximum potential. Assess from them how much more creative and innovative they actually can be.

Timing: Business forecasts and their assessments can take anywhere from a few days to more than a week. Change management takes a lot of time and depends on the size of the organization. The number of changes can be completed on a gradual basis.

Open Communication Channels: Every business owner and leader knows that communication is important. Structure your communication to the extent that it is conducive for all within your organization to understand. Keep employees informed to any changes that take place. Get input from employees can help you get things to change. You may even get and use some ideas from your employees. Remember to give them the credit for using their ideas.

How you re-engineer your crystal ball can help you re-structure what you predict you want on your wish list. Since no leader has a crystal ball, to make savvy leadership decisions, you have to rely on the most current data about your competitive markets and know your own company inside out. Some of the best plans are dreamed up overnight. In fact, these might take some time to come to fruition.

Imagine business as a game in which you are juggling six balls in the air. Can you keep all 6 balls in the air at the same time? If you drop one of them, will it bounce back to where you want or expect it to be? This is the reason I suggest working on a maximum of 3 goals at a time to work on. It is an easy number to handle.

Sometimes, things that are not planned just happen. As long as you keep the positive action going, you will have significance results.

What’s in store for your organization in 2014? As you gaze into your crystal ball, do you see a year of promise and opportunity? You might also see new challenges that require different ways of viewing and thinking that can lead to how view your organization now and beyond 2014.