2020 Visionary Leadership Series: Lesson Four

“[A]ll change, even very large and powerful change, begins when a few people start talking with one another about something they care about.”
Margaret Wheatley

Leaders have the ability to create “vibrant dialogue” in a way that stimulates, motivates, connects and focuses others to achieve in new ways. Vibrant dialogue engages others in the quest for a better way, to consider wild options while honing down to a good path forward. Management is often managing the “busyness of business,” while leadership is moving the vision forward.

Successful leaders take time to step out of the busyness to engage with others, gain their insights and have courageous conversations, which challenge the conventional ways of thinking to find a better way.

In order to expand into new dimensions of thinking and seeing, here are some of the questions leaders pose to gain a broader perspective of the landscape they are managing:

  • What is it that we don’t know, that if we did know, would make our organization stronger?
  • What is staying strong in our market and what is changing?
  • Where are we taking a “wait and see” approach?
  • What does it take to lead in our industry?
  • What is our customer struggling with?
  • How can we help our customers be even more successful in their industry and markets?
  • What makes it difficult to deliver great service to our customers?
  • What makes it hard to move things forward in our company?
  • What is the next level of thinking that we need to do?
  • If our success was completely guaranteed, what bold steps might we choose?

Additionally, in order to lead a team with vibrant dialogue, the leader must embrace the following:

  • Comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty
  • Encourage diverse and divergent thinking
  • Dive into the complexity knowing today’s challenges are complicated by many factors and there are few single causes or solutions
  • Fast, rapid change on a large scale
  • Humbleness that their idea may no longer be the right idea

As leaders practice vibrant dialogue, they unleash the latent ideas and talent of those around them to move forward confidently and clearly in a dynamically changing world.

“None of us is as smart as all of us”
Kenneth H. Blanchard

Continue to lead by engaging your teams in conversations that move the vision forward with clarity, creativity, and confidence in their ability to find a better way to meet the needs of the future today. Engage!