Weak leaders waffle and shape-shift. They’re easily swayed by popular opinion or the path of least resistance.
Their point of view is remarkably consistent with whatever their boss says, or send messages that will cause the least amount of work. They attract other easy people, who’ll just go with the flow. The flow turns to stagnant mediocrity.
Inspiring leaders have a more deliberate, inspiring point of view. They’re attracted to, and attract, others with carefully considered perspectives.
“The most difficult work most professionals do is getting someone else to agree with their point of view and take action. The second most difficult work professionals do is developing a point of view in the first place.”~ Seth Godin
Strong leaders articulate a recognizable point of view:
- What would Gandhi say?
- What would Jesus do?
- How about Martin Luther?
- Martin Luther King?
- What would (insert your favorite leader here) do?,/li>
4 Signs You Have An Inspiring Point Of View
V – Vision: Your expectations are clear and easy to follow. People get where you are headed and why. Clarity brings consistency and comfort.
I – Integrity: You do what you say and say what you do. Your team knows what to expect from you, and what behaviors you expect from them.
E – Empowerment: An inspiring point of view guides, scaffolds and empowers action. No waiting around for permission and guidance. You stay out of the weeds because you know your team understands your perspective. They don’t have to run to you for decisions, they can just ask WW_D?
W – Wisdom: You’re clear but not stuck. You help others clarify their own thinking and articulate their point of view. You know the best results come after careful consideration of diverse perspectives. You welcome debate.
Point of View Check-Points
Consider your point of view on leadership or parenting, marriage, friendship, customer service. What beliefs do you hold most strongly? How do you communicate your point of view to your followers or children, spouse, friends, customers? If you’re brave, ask them. Do you like what you hear?
I say what’s clearly not being said or what people are afraid to say.
People nod their heads in affirmation.
Steve, We need more people doing that every day. Speaking the truth is leadership. Thank you.
Karin, great questions. I’m going to reflect on this one and get back to you later today. thanks!
You just reminded me of something…it’s hard to paint a picture when either one of these are true:
1. You don’t know how to paint.
2. You don’t know what to paint.
I’ve been in both places. I’ve had crystal clear visions with no idea how to communicate it and sucking as a leader.
And I’ve been in a place where things were going downhill and I just didn’t know what to do or say.
Matt, yes, yes, and yes. Beautiful comment.
Okay, couldn’t wait. Great exercise.
What beliefs do you hold most strongly?
I believe in the essential value of all people.
I believe that service to others is a privilege and that you get more than you give.
I believe that human rights abuses should be confronted.
I believe that people should have high quality legal services even if they cannot afford them.
I believe the best mode for that is a pro bono model.
How do you communicate your point of view to your followers… or… children, spouse, friends, customers?
I believe in servant leadership, and leading by example.
St. Francis apparently said, Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words. I hope that my actions, indeed my life communicate these values at all times. I hope my words are simply a reflection of these values.
Bill, YES! Through words… I’m a big believer in “praying with your feet.” Thank you so much for all you do to live your point of view. We need so need that.
… if necessary use words …
What a great quote! Thanks, Bill.
Reminds me that Love is action.
Being inspiring is one of the most important qualities of strong leaders.
Another way I would add is to be enthusiastic and energized with one’s delivery of the vision and path. I recently worked with a manager who had great ideas but was having a difficult time rallying others to follow him. Part of what was going on was his inability to be excited himself about the plan he was proposing.
Clarity, content and energy can be a winning combination.
Well done Karin!
Ahh yes, Terri, I’ve seen that too.. It’s a tragedy whe great vision suffers under bad delivery.
I just started reading, “From Smart to Wise: Acting and Leading with Wisdom” – it’s a fantastic read and aligns with what you included here. The fifth sign I’d add is purpose – maybe similar to vision but is all about meaning!
Ariana, Thanks for adding what you’re reading and your thoughts on meaning. I look forward to checking out “From Smart to Wise” who can’t use that?
A very inspiring article, Karin.
I love this sentence: “They (weak leaders) attract other easy people, who’ll just go with the flow. The flow turns to stagnant mediocrity.”
It is true: like attracts like. I truly believe that attitudes are contagious…and the big question: is yours worth catching?
LaRae, Thanks so much. Attitudes are indeed contagious.
I lost my post by saying the trough , that people , the agency MANAGER team wouldn’t like to hear
Karin – I love how you connected the inspiring leaders we ALL know…
“What would Gandhi say?
What would Jesus do?
How about Martin Luther?
Martin Luther King?”
…To how we lead
“You stay out of the weeds because you know your team understands your perspective. They don’t have to run to you for decisions, they can just ask WW_D?”
Thanks, so much Chery. Always appreciate your insights.
Karin, Great model and questions to ask. Having an inspiring point of view means you also have a growth mindset. How have you changed from information absorbed? How have you adapted as you work with other people and develop relationships? Leading in an inspiring way means we grow. Thanks! Jon
Jon, Excellent add! Thanks so much. Love your questions.
I have had the pleasure to work with a therapist on and off during the years. Recently it dawned on me that all she is doing is sitting over there and thinking, “What would a healthy person do?” And then “What would it take to get my client in that direction?” Of course this is an over-simplification of anything therapeutic. Yet, I am informed by this kind of model. What I would put high on my list of leader attributes would be something about being a good person. Yes, Integrity (one of your bullets). And a slew of things that involve being a good person — loving, respecting others, respecting self, helping others to grow and wanting to grow, humility, sincerity, maturity. The list could go on. But put away the list. Are you a good person? If so, go forth and make a difference in the lives of others!
David, Thank you for sharing this powerful example. You are right… that’s such a great question for all of us to ask ourselves… what would a healthy person do? What would a great mother/father do? What would a great spouse do? This works in so many arenas.