It Is Never Over For A Visionary
You’ve been there…at a conference, a keynote or an event where you could have heard a pin drop. Mesmerized by a figure on stage who spoke to an unnumbered audience of all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds. More times than not, they had few if any notes on a topic that resonated with you and everyone else in the room. From a breathtaking summary with little or no hesitation, no stumbling and not a word out of place. Their story is unique in its tome and the unveiled vulnerability captures your emptions and you reflect on the tragedies and opposition in your own life. The distilled wisdom of someone who had forged their own path wholeheartedly their whole life.
How do you react in the midst of tragedy and opposition?
It is tempting to panic, withdraw, lose hope or even give up. There are countless visionaries we can glean insight and wisdom from. Such names as Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Richard Branson immediately come to mind. If you have a vision, you will always be able to say, ‘It’s not over.’ Visionaries achieve much in their lifetime. Yet, they’ve all had to deal with the reality of opposition. Retired Baylor football coach Grant Teaff tells the story of Kyle Woods in turning a devastating setback into a courageous comeback.
As a promising season in 1980 began with 7 straight victories and media attention began to increase, what happened next shaped the lives of fans everywhere and rocked Waco. The eighth game against San Jose State had more to do with the Baylor team than San Jose State winning by a few points. Dashing any hopes for a National Championship Coach Teaff recalls, the “oh, what might have been” syndrome echoed throughout the tight-knit community. But more importantly, the life of Kyle Woods would change forever.
Life more about the right response, than our emotional reactions to it.
Yet, even in the midst of such tragedy Kyle did not despair or give up. Neither did the Baylor Bear football team as they watched Kyle reach for the arms of the prison that was his wheelchair, brace himself and mightily rise up from his paralyzed legs to tell everyone how simple it is to turn every setback into a comeback. He saw it is not over. It is not over for him, nor for the team or the sleepy college town in west Texas that fateful season in 1980. Isn’t life more about the right response, than the emotional reaction so many of us tend to rush towards?
One of an Elegant Leaders greatest challenges is there’s access to endless amounts of information. We live in a world of endless distractions where we’re constantly ‘on.’ How challenging is it to focus on a given task for a mere hour? Now consider the inherent challenges of holding a long-term picture in mind over a period of months, even years. Effective collaboration is necessary for any group of people looking to create something of great value, bring it to market, and grow it in a competitive environment. Visionary leaders have a way of inspiring their organization to rally around a shared vision. Here are 5 attributes of a Visionary Leader:
Persistent. There are obstacles everywhere dotting your corporate landscape. Realizing the vision isn’t easy. With inner resolve, visionary leaders break through difficulties and setbacks. They are steadfast, agile enough to pivot and make course corrections. They always persist.
Resolute. Social pressures influence visionary leaders less than most others. Their high conviction holds in the face of adversity. Setbacks aren’t a sign of failure, rather they’re waypoints along the path to realizing their vision. Thus, they are willing to take calculated risks and endure uncertainty with less than perfect data. They give assurance and clarity to others when facing difficulty.
Inspire. The visionary leader taps into our emotions. They ignite our passions after having assessed the situation. They craft a vision that is directly linked to a higher purpose for the organization to drive our emotions in the right direction and bring out the best in us.
Courage. There’s no place to be timid in leading with vision. Elegant Leaders are courageous and daring, willing to take calculated risks. They don’t fear failure as much as they fear not going for it. They foster innovative organizations because their people can fail quickly, learn, adapt, and overcome.
Empathy. To inspire consistently, the Elegant Leader is aware of their emotions and is empathic with their team and of others in the organization. Only through empathy can a leader connect with the hearts of their team and inspire them to realize the potential of their greatness.
The acronym created spells the word PRICE. The price all men pay is death, however, the price of the visionary leader establishing and extending trust throughout the organization. To fulfill the mission of the organization, the Elegant Leader must deliver and demonstrate the vision, because it’s not over. It is never over for those who ‘finish well.’ Those who finish well will always have an unfinished agenda, and you will be able to say, ‘It’s not over.’
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