Leading with Vision, Inspiration and Integrity for Excellence
Leading with Vision, Inspiration and Integrity for Excellence
An organization which aspires for excellence has leaders in the management team who not only shape the future but also make it happen by acting as role models for its values and ethics. The leaders have capabilities and integrity to inspire, adapt, react and gain the commitment of all the stakeholders. They are flexible, enabling the organization to anticipate and react in a timely manner to ensure and sustain the ongoing success of the organization.
Organizational leaders develop the mission, vision, values and ethics and act as role models. They define, monitor, review and drive the improvement of the organizational management system and performance. They engage with external stakeholders and reinforce a culture of excellence with the organizational people. They ensure that the organisation is flexible and manages change effectively.
People like working with organizational leaders who do two things namely (i) lead from their values, and (ii) share an inspiring vision for the future. These two things are clearly connected. If the organizational leaders are grounded in their values, they can build a culture of trust and transparency in the organization.
The three basic requirements for the organizational leaders for propelling the organization on the path of excellence are namely (i) vision, (ii) inspiration and (iii) integrity. These three basic requirements are shown in Fig 1 and described below.
Fig 1 Basic requirements for organizational leadership
Organizational leaders are to dream, create and articulate a wonderful, compelling and inspiring vision for the future of the organization. The vision is to reflect a new dawn for the organization and is to be created working with imagination, insight, and boldness. It must present a challenge that calls forth the best in people and brings them together around a shared sense of purpose. The vision must have the power of intentionality and alignment with a higher purpose. The eyes of the organizational leaders creating the vision are to be on the horizon and not just on the near view at hand. The vision is to reflect social innovation and act as a change agent in the organization.
Organizational leaders are to envision the future by imagining and believing in an exciting and highly attractive future for the organization. They are to be exceptionally good at imagining the future which does not exist today. They are to be confident that they can achieve this extraordinary future of the organization by creating an organized movement or by forging significant changes in the organization.
For creating the vision for the future of the organization, organizational leaders are to be forward looking. They must have a sense of direction and a concern for the future of the organization. They are to demonstrate that they are not the leaders who have lost the way bur have a clear destination in mind for the organization.
The organizational leaders need to find the vision that inspires them first and then they can get others on board by sharing their excitement. This vision may be large and international or it can be small and local. Size is not important. All that matters is that organizational leaders are clear and committed about their goal and objectives. Also they need to be relentless in their pursuit of the vision. They are to be consistent and persistent in this regards.
Organizational leaders are to enlist others in their vision so that it becomes a shared vision. They have to communicate with impact this vision to the people and other stake holders. For doing this, they must convince that they understand the needs of the people and stakeholders and have their interest at heart. They know that a monologue does not communicate but it is necessary to have a dialogue. During the dialogue they are to demonstrate that they have intimate kowledge of dreams, hopes and aspirations of the people and stakeholders. The vision and values are to breathe life into these dreams. hopes and aspirations and create a unity of purpose by showing to the people and stakeholders how the vision is for the common good.
Organizational leaders are to share the sense and meaning of the vision with others to promote a partnership approach and to demonstrate a greater respect for others for carefully developing team spirit and team learning. Building of this sense of shared vision and partnership is also a key to the effectiveness.
Organizational leaders aiming for the excellence of the organization are to be inspiring. They inspire people to be better than they already are and help them identify with organizational goals and objectives. Through inspiration organizational leaders transmit energy to people, giving them a new sense of hope and confidence in achieving the vision.
To be inspiring, organizational leaders are to be enthusiastic, energetic, and positive about the future of the organization. Inspiring leaders breathe life into the dreams and aspirations of the people and stakeholders of the organization, making them much more willing to sign on for the duration. They create positive emotions which resonate throughout the organization and help to make extraordinary things to happen. They are aware that inspiration is achieved through trust and integrity and it brings with it the loyalty of the people.
Organizational leaders inspire people and create a culture of involvement, ownership, empowerment, improvement and accountability through their actions, behaviors, and experience. However in present day environment, they are typically to involve quite a bit more inspiration in terms of motivating workforce of today which is well educated.
Organizational leaders to be inspiring are to earn and sustain credibility. They are to do what they are saying. They are to model their behaviour effectively by clarifying the values and then communicate clearly and distinctively with impact these values to everyone in the organization. They must believe in values they express. These values must not be merely the personal principles. They must represent what the organization stands for.
Organizational leaders are to demonstrate that they are the people with strong beliefs about matters of principle. They have an unwavering commitment to a clear set of values. They are passionate about causes. Further their actions are to reflect the expressed values.
Organizational leaders are to take every opportunity to show others by their own example that they are deeply committed to the values and aspirations they communicate. For people to take them seriously , they are to set the examples. Their word and deeds are to be consistent. They set the example through daily actions which demonstrates that they are deeply committed to the values. These leaders are distinguished by their relentless efforts, steadfastness, competence, and attention to details. These leaders become the role model and create a culture in the organization where everyone in the organization commits to align with the shared values and vision of the organization.
To experience inspiration, people also need to feel included. Inclusion goes beyond the listening and feedback, For real inclusion, people need to feel intimately connected to the actions and process that are leading to the accomplishment of the goals or the decision.
Integrity and honesty are the most important characteristics which the people and stakeholders look for in the organizational leaders. When the people and stakeholders follow the organizational leaders in their workplace or in the board room, they insist that these leaders must be truthful, ethical and principled. People and the stakeholders inherently admire organizational leaders who have integrity, who know what they stand for on important principles, and who have confidence in their own beliefs.
Integrity is perhaps the single most respected quality of the organizational leaders. Integrity is complete, unflinching honesty with regard to everything that these leaders say and do. Integrity underlies all the other qualities. The measure of integrity is determined by how honest these leaders are in the critical areas of their work life.
Integrity means that one, as a organizational leader, admit his shortcomings. It means that he works to develop his strengths and compensate for his weaknesses. Integrity means that he tells the truth and he lives the truth in everything he does and in all his relationships. Integrity means that he deals straightforwardly with people and situations and that he does not compromise what he believes to be true.
Organizational leaders having integrity are transparent and accountable to their stake holders and society as large for their performance and ensure their people act ethically, responsibly and with integrity.
Organizational leaders may cultivate any other skill, but the most precious asset is actually their integrity. This is why values based leadership is so important for integrity. Having integrity means acting and speaking in consistent accordance with the values. There is nothing like a right set of values, but the organizational leaders do have to be clear about what their set of values are. When the organizational leaders truly know themselves and what they stand for, then it is much easier to make decisions and take action.
Communication is an important area where integrity is essential. For demonstrating their integrity , organizational leaders must be honest communicators. Honest communication is a must and absolutely essential to the creation of trust. Credibility trumps all.