Never static, vision is always evolving. Like a sequence of smaller mountains that give view to larger mountains on reaching the summit, today’s new accomplishments give view to tomorrow’s possibilities.
Vision is a living language: a treasure chest of phrases, ideas, metaphors, and stories. The beauty of a treasure chest like this is that your whole team can put words and dreams into it, and the entire leadership can pick ideas and stories out of it.
What does your vision treasure chest contain? Does it need some more loot inside in order for you to articulate your vision in powerful and captivating ways?
THE QUICK SUMMARY – The Inspiration Code by Kristi Hedges
Great leaders inspire action with their words. They spark enthusiasm and commitment. With a single conversation, they can change the direction of someone’s life.
Everyone wants to be the kind of leader who energizes and mobilizes others yet too few are. Why is it so challenging to crack the code?
Executive coach Kristi Hedges spent years studying exactly what inspiring leaders do differently. Informed by quantitative research and thousands of responses from leaders at all levels, she reveals that inspiring communication isn’t about grand gestures. Instead, those who motivate us most do a few things routinely, consistently, and intentionally.
Eye opening and accessible, The Inspiration Code dispels common myths about how leaders communicate and guides them in cultivating qualities that authentically excite.
Inspired companies need inspirational leaders. Learn to unlock motivation, lift people’s’ sights, and lead them into the future.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION – Lead Down the Inspiration Pathway
A vision should never be designed to be read. What would have happened to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech if he made it a PowerPoint presentation, or decided to just send out flyers?
People do not follow words – they follow you!
The vision cannot be separated from the vision caster, and the vision caster cannot separate his message from his life as a model.
Communicating your vision with clarity and inspiration can be accomplished, but you’ve got to move – you need to lead others down the inspiration pathway.
Inspiration Pathway conversations happen when we communicate in a way that is present, personal, passionate, and purposeful. These four factors greatly enhance our inspirational effect.
I call this model a “path” because it’s a passage with movement, both for the one inspiring and the one being inspired.
When we are inspiring, we are:
Present: We’re focused on the person in front of us, not distracted by the swirl of day, visibly stressed, or beholden to our agenda. We keep an open mind and let conversations flow. People who inspire us are both physically and mentally available to us. They focus on us. They give us the gift of time, and just as important, the gift of their attention.
Personal: We’re authentic and real, and listen generously. We notice what’s true about others and help them find their potential. Authenticity seems to fly in the face of the impassiveness we’ve been trained to adopt at work. But people look to you to see how much you care, and this shapes how much they will care.
Passionate: We infuse energy, and manage this as one of our greatest tools. We blend logic and emotion, and show conviction through our presence. People who are passionate enthusiasts for what they do create passion in others.
Purposeful: We are intentional. We are willing to serve as role models and engage in courageous discussions about purpose. A purpose that ignites us is personal. It’s less about a vision outside of us, and more about the vision we possess inside. Helping someone find that internal spark of purpose, or reignite it, is a transformational act.
Kristi Hedges, The Inspiration Code
A NEXT STEP
In order to lead others down the inspiration pathway, you will need to prepare yourself first. Calendar your next visionary presentation; it could even be your message this Sunday! Set aside two-three hours in an off-site location, get comfortable, and work through the author’s four elements of inspiration by thinking through and implementing the following:
- When we give another person our full attention versus our divided attention, the conversation changes. To be fully present to the conversation, eliminate distractions, use a reflective pause, get curious, and show receptive body language.
- When we’re in a state of overwhelm, we’re not inspiring anyone. People’s natural instinct is to distance themselves from someone who seems frenetic. Challenge your current assumptions before jumping to try new strategies.
- We can’t open someone else’s mind if ours is closed. When you cultivate an open mind, we create a learning space that allows others to expand their own thinking.
- Though counterintuitive, showing authenticity is something we can work on. We’re adaptively authentic, where we learn new behaviors and integrate them into our own way of being.
- Inspiring corporate visions are conversations about potential on a large scale. They tell the organization that it can achieve more because it’s capable of being more.
- Deep, focused listening is a key inspirational skill, but it’s harder than it looks. Most people focus on hearing rather than on understanding. It takes effort, but you can become a better listener by understanding the listening environment.
- Energy is a primary way that we convey passion. Energy is a tool we can harness and cultivate to great effect. To do so, first know what gives you energy about your message, sync that up with your audience, and display your passion verbally and nonverbally.
- There is no passion without emotion, and any attempt to convey such comes across unconvincing or deceptive. Being strategic and authentic with our emotions in our communication helps us to inspire others.
- To show conviction, focus on aligning your nonverbal behaviors with your words, and both with your intent. This helps your body and mind to work together to show up with clarity.
- Having a purpose is linked to inspiration and intrinsic motivation. People are inspired by something, and when you engage others in purpose, you create the impetus.
- To continually refresh your sense of purpose, inspire yourself by surrounding yourself with a personal board of advisors as role models, and by taking risks toward your purpose.
- Courageous leadership requires clear choices, saying no to some opportunities to be able to say yes to others.
Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 85-2, released January 2018.
Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader
Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “excerpt” for church leaders. Each Wednesday on 27gen I will be taking a look back at previous issues of SUMS Remix and publishing an excerpt.