Brilliant observation brings servant leaders to the conclusion that the current approach to business will never meet the future with success. What starts as an uneasy sense of dread devolves into the realization that something is systemically wrong. By the time that the leader recognizes the current reality, the team is tired and wanting a real solution.
If this sounds familiar, we can take comfort in this truth.
Great leaders know that a big solution is required.
START WITH A CLEAR VISION
Beyond just an idea, the new reality will have a substantial impact on the level of success that can be achieved. Without navigating this transformation, the team will encounter an obstacle that will be expensive and insurmountable. As leaders, these challenges can become apparent at the most critical times in the life of the business.
Carefully planned action includes:
🗪 Define the Problem — Within the daily routine, which of the three resources are in short supply? Money, time and work hours operate in close proximity and must be available when needed. Others might be able to see the oncoming problem more clearly, so the wise leader will ask more questions to tap into the team’s awareness. Formal meetings are less helpful than consistent observation of the business operation.
🗪 Describe the New Reality — Once the problem is recognized, the importance of change comes into focus. If the team is overwhelmed with work, the best option might be to streamline the operation before adding new team members. All options must be explored to devise the best solution to today’s problem. Engage those who have more experience, even if you have to go outside your own circle. Specific knowledge of the situation must be gathered prior to reaching out.
🗪 Issue the Challenge – Everyone involved will require a different level of detail to embrace the new direction. Leaders recognize the difference in personalities and priorities that can slow the progress if not addressed. Fears must be revealed and discussed to assure everyone that the new future includes the entire team, even if roles will evolve.
Clarity comes from open conversations with the people who will be affected most. Daily routines are difficult to change if the team is holding back because the vision is a mystery. Retreats are used to refine the vision and remove distractions when setting forth a new vision. Your creativity will communicate how much you want to see your team and business succeed.
“Never bring the problem solving stage into the decision making stage.
Otherwise, you surrender yourself to the problem
rather than the solution.”
~ Robert H. Schuller
PUBLISH YOUR INTENTIONS
Once the vision comes into focus, every work effort will be focused on taking the steps to prevent the current problem from growing in the near future. Leadership includes focus on creating the vision. Emphasis on the evolution of the daily routine is required if the team is going to make the vision become a reality.
🗪 Devise Terminology — Daily conversations will include the terms that are used when communicating the initial vision. Changing the terminology is essential if we want to keep the vision in front of the team. Genuine phrasing will prevent misconceptions of the importance. Leaders will pick up on naysayers in the casual conversation and redirect unbelief very quickly to sustain progress toward the goal.
🗪 Motivational Phrase — During the course of solving the problem and devising the new approach, certain words will come up in conversations. One short statement can become the catchphrase to remind everyone that we are working together toward a goal. As those words are repeated, thoughts will become more natural.
‘The future’s so bright – you’re gonna need shades’ 🕶️
All these years later, those words remind me
of the vision 🕶️ set forth in my first corporation.
Selection of a catchphrase is inspiring to the team
that wants to see that new vision 🕶️ come to life.
🗪 Visual Reminders — Our catchphrase was printed on sunglasses and many of us held onto that visual reminder. We knew that the change we were witnessing meant more than most of us understood.
In your effort to communicate your vision, a couple of your most creative team members can be challenged to find the perfect physical reminder that can be imprinted with your catchphrase.
Make a few changes around the workspace to keep the vision alive. Some companies change the logo and brand colors to mark the start of the new journey. A huge investment is not necessary, but reminders are important when the team needs to focus each day on changing the way work is completed.
SERVANT LEADERS WILL DEVELOP THE FRAMEWORK
Implementation of the leader’s vision will require changes that can be challenging to define. Input from the team will smooth the transition between today’s problem and tomorrow. Since the team knows the daily routine, they will be most affected by the changes, so allowing them to devise the approach makes sense.
Together, the team will want to address these important points:
🗪 Define the Scope of Work — While drawing the new future, one of the easier steps is to list what will not change. As a group, the team and leadership will identify what must remain unchanged. The list will include internal and external forces, such as customers, suppliers, location and offerings.
🗪 Develop Roles Inside the Team — Before any more people are added to the team, the roles will be defined. Job satisfaction is available to the entire team as new duties are assigned. Each person involved will have the chance to volunteer for the new tasks.
🗪 Reveal the Leader’s Role — In some situations, a new leader must take the team into the future. If this is the case, the opportunity is offered as a promotion to those who are qualified. Duties in the role will focus on the needs of the team to bring the vision into focus inside the daily routine.
Visionaries tend to skip this step entirely, and the result is a confused team that slips back into the old ways of managing the daily routine. The business operation is where the team lives and strives to handle the workload.
If your tendency is to have great ideas and never implement them, the best approach toward the new vision is for you to appoint a leader for the team while you tend to other duties. More space between you and the team will be essential for bringing the vision to life.
ENHANCE THE DAILY ROUTINE
Once the new vision becomes a reality, the team’s daily routine will change to include the changes made through the transition. As the servant leader, your role will shift to rewarding those who made the better future possible. During the first month after the change, the opportunity to give recognition can provide momentum for the entire team. The sky is the limit of your creativity.
The team will expect to be acknowledged for the effort invested in bringing your vision to life. Imagine the positive energy that your creative rewards will create for everyone involved.
“Vision 🕶️without action is merely a dream.
Action without vision 🕶️ just passes the time.
Vision 🕶️with action can change the world.”
~ Joel A. Barker