Inspired Performance

With Leadership it’s More Than Simply Knowing the Words

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

Sometimes novice musicians can tell you all the words to a vocal piece or what all the Latin instructions are on an instrumental score. They may be able to play or sing the piece with technical precision. Still, unless they also can interpret the passion and the full range of emotions, their performance will fall flat — that is technically correct but uninspired.

It’s the same with leadership. As a leader, I may know all the right words around leadership skills, I may know all the right things to do, but unless I have and live out all the passion of a clear and compelling vision, my team will find that my leadership style is flat and uninspired.

We have all heard the statistics; only 30% of our employees report feeling engaged at work. We also know that to be engaged, employees need autonomy, mastery and purpose. The purpose, having an ideal greater than one’s self toward which to strive, is that clear and compelling vision. Without that purpose and vision, employees will neither be inspired nor willing to go the extra mile to serve customers and colleagues.

This of course begs the question, “How do you as a leader create and live the larger vision for your team?” What is the essence of your leadership? Where does the energy come from and how do you convey that energy, passion and excitement to your team? This is the work of leadership: building highly functional and fully engaged teams. It starts with clarity of vision.