Values, veneration and vision are the three elements of quality leadership. Used individually, your organization can expect to see a minor impact. Used together, these concepts create a powerful synergistic force that can turn failing organizational environments into profitable and marketable companies. This synergistic force is the difference between the organization that will be going out of business and the one that will dominate and lead the industry into the next millennium. Using values, veneration and vision, you can create a synergy within your company that will enable your employees to achieve higher levels of productivity, better morale, improved customer service and increased profits.
To effectively implement synergistic leadership, a strong foundation must be laid. This foundation is based on understanding and mastering the concept of change.
Change is the essence of progress. Without a commitment to change, you cannot have any meaningful improvement in your life or organization. A great many people appear to resist change, but they’re really just disheartened by previously unfulfilled promises of change. What seems to be resistance is really fear of another disappointment. Improvement comes through altering, modifying and transforming. Old thinking will not yield new solutions. If you have limited thinking, you will have limited plans. Change involves an expansion in thinking. A commitment to change means opening your mind, realizing the need to make improvements in your habits and behaviors and being able to consider new concepts so you can have the creative plans necessary to achieve your vision. By opening up to change, all members of your team will be able to create the new solutions necessary to transform your organization into a market leader
Values are the cornerstone of all individuals and of any organization. It is critical that you first look to define and understand your own values, then look to define the organizational values. What is it that you really stand for? What are you willing to do to get new business? What are you not willing to do to get that new account? These questions must be answered before personal and organizational leadership can progress.
Quality organizations don’t change their values over time. They look for ways to change the application of a time proven set of core values. As industries evolve, product lines change, markets may change, customers may change, but a consistent core organizational value system will be your foundation of strength and long term success. Your values are the rules by which you play the game. It’s much easier to make a decision when you have a well defined value system on which to base your decisions.
Define your personal values and your organizations values. Dig deep inside and seek out what means the most. You will find a basis for strength and a foundation for implementation of synergistic leadership.
Andrew Carnegie once said, “You must capture and keep the heart of the original and supremely able man before his brain can do its best.” By first understanding what is at the core of the team members around you, you will be able to serve them and allow them to reach their fullest potential. You should not only recognize that there are differences among your team members, but also value those differences.
In many organizations, employees (your internal customers) don’t feel like they are part of a team. They don’t feel valued. They feel as if no one understands their goals, desires or ambitions.
The Council of Communication Management surveyed 705 employees in 70 companies of all sizes and industries. Here is what they found:
- Sixty-four percent don’t believe what management says.
- Sixty-one percent feel management doesn’t inform them well about company plans.
- Fifty-four percent feel management doesn’t explain decisions very well.
Understanding each individual team member’s needs and values will enable you to serve them and create an atmosphere of trust and common cause. It’s really very simple … if you help your employees achieve their goals, they will help you achieve yours. Team members help other team members. It’s an unwritten universal law. Serve your team. They will feel the team spirit and help everyone on that team achieve higher levels of performance.
Veneration also means shaping the right work atmosphere. It is critical that we create a work environment that promotes creative thinking, an openness to change and rewards good effort. All fear must be driven from the workplace. Team members must feel as if they can try new ideas without the risk of persecution if they don’t achieve success. Only then will you unleash the power of all individuals and create an atmosphere that promotes growth.
Just as individuals need goals and a personal vision, every organization needs a vision. This is a unified picture of what everyone on the team is striving to achieve. The clearer the concept, the more likely your team will achieve their goal.
There are three elements inherent in a good vision. To create your company’s own vision, have your entire team answer the following questions. Then, begin boiling the answers down until you create your own organizational vision.
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- For whom do you do it?
If you use these guidelines, you will be able to create a meaningful vision statement that will serve as the guiding light for your organization.
While on a fishing trip to Canada with my son Geoffrey, an interesting thing happened. Geoff and I were on our way forty miles down river to a base cabin to spend the night. On the way down, our guide pointed out a nest in the top of a tree and standing proud over the nest was a beautiful bald eagle. What a sight!
Upon arriving at the cabin, I mentioned the eagle to others in our group. One fellow stated that he saw forty-seven eagles on the way down the river. He was looking for eagles and found them. We were watching the shore and looking for animals visiting the stream for water.
More often than not, if you are looking for something, you will find it. If you are looking up, you’ll see eagles. If you are looking for something else, you will see that. Know what it is you desire. Look for it. Work for it. In the end, you will achieve your goals.
Values, veneration and vision do not achieve results. You do. It is your responsibility to take these concepts and apply them to your organization. The difference between management and leadership is this: Management administers past ideas, implements existing systems and maintains existing relationships. Leadership creates the future, with and through people.
So, the question I ask you now is: Do you want to be a manager and be in charge of the past or do you want to lead and create the future?