Few large organizations doubt their own ability to survive the downturn, saysconsultant John Baldoni, but sadly, few of their top executives possess the kind of vision and inspiration needed to move beyond survival—to “thrival.”
In other words, the financials are acceptable, but the leadership is lacking. And right now, leadership is what we need.
Baldoni goes on to say that leaders from here on out need not only charisma but powerful imaginations, producing visions for the future that their followers can latch onto and work toward, in the process turning themselves into the next generation of leaders.
Along with the core qualities of vision and inspiration, he offers three attributes to look for in a leader:
1. Realism. Even inspirational leaders are rooted in the real world. They know and communicate the hard facts but remain undeterred. That kind of grounding in reality separates them from fools, in that they know what can go wrong and “keep it real.” People like that.
2. Improvement. The bottom line on leadership: making things better. Leaders are more than simply unsatisfied seekers of a better way. They produce results. What’s more, they open doors for others to innovate and advance.
3. Optimism. You know about this one. Here’s a fillip: Optimism is not just inherent. It’s contagious. That second part is what takes employees beyond getting the work done here and now to developing the next big wave of initiatives that will push an organization to succeed over the long term. Leaders always see potential.
--Adapted from “Wanted: Inspirational Leaders,” John Baldoni, The Conference Board Review.