Read a book on leadership and somewhere in the book it will say something like: “leaders must create a shared vision.” This statement is declared as if someone claims leadership by climbing a mountain and bellowing out the vision – and then followers flock to the cause with deep passion and motivation. If it were that simple, we would all be great leaders.
Creating a shared vision takes more than making a claim of leadership. Before you can engage others in a shared cause, you must have your own vision. You must have aspirations for which you are authentically enthusiastic – so enthusiastic that the vision inspires others. Unless your authentic vision shines through, you cannot expect others to be inspired.
The hard work of uncovering one’s authentic aspirations may be the single most challenging barrier to becoming a great leader. Authentic aspiration unfolds from deep self-awareness and not by blindly following your automatic drivers (those defaults that you deploy to protect and preserve your successes and your image).
Are you ready to face this challenge; to begin, today, an ongoing practice of deepening self-awareness? Are you ready to make the effort to uncover and recognize your hidden automatic drivers and to see what needs to be changed? Are you willing to persist in creating what’s possible rather than hugging the trend line by preserving and protecting? If so, you are a rare leader!