When companies get in trouble several things often happen. People get let go and other people jump ship. Why is that? Lack of a clear vision coupled with lack of consistent leadership nearly always surfaces.
How do you know?
When a company has a clear vision of where it’s going and consistent leadership that inspires people to want to follow the vision and stay on board, they do. Conversely, why would I stay at an organization in trouble where I don’t see how what I do is really important and where I am never sure which direction or attitude my boss or leader will bring to work each day?
Vision is a clear and short statement of why what the organization does matters. Leaders make sure everyone in the organization understands the vision and most importantly, why what each person does is important to the vision. Everyone needs to find value in their work. Everyone. Leadership is making sure everyone on the team feels valuable.
Leadership without consistency is a roller coaster, exciting but not relaxing and surely not the preferred transportation for a career journey. Consistency builds trust and trust is crucial to handling the unexpected stress of the today’s business environment. Trust allows you to relax and react quickly. As Simon Sinek points out in his latest book, Leaders Eat Last, fear inside the organization negates the ability of the group to use their collective higher brain thinking.
Sharing the vision and providing consistent leadership is not a function of title but intention. All of us can clearly communicate to our colleagues the vision of why their work matters. All of us can practice servant leadership and show others they matter.
Perhaps the best way to gauge how you are doing on this leadership trait comes from a question. If you left to join a competitor, how many people would follow you? To overcome the security of their position they would have to already see you as inspiration and consistent and they would surely have to believe you are worthy to be trusted with such a risky move.
If the answer is a few, good. You are on the right track and the odds are your competitors will be source of YOUR future growth of followers and future leaders.