152-Where Are You Going?
John (Intro): I have been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good. After running companies small and large for the last 20 years, today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic: What makes the best leaders so good? Welcome to Tomorrow’s Leader.
John: All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dive deep on all things leader-related, related to leaving yourself and leading others. My name is John Laurito. Welcome to the show. Later this week, I’m actually going on the first in-person workshop presentation that I’ve had in about a year. I’m extremely excited about this because everything has been virtual up until now. So this is kind of the breakthrough of getting out there and starting to do travel again and in-person seminars and speaking engagements and all that kind of stuff. But one of the things I’m going to be talking about with this group and its six partners that I’m meeting with of a very successful company, and we are going to be going through a deep dive around a number of different topics, and one of which is vision.
John: And I call this kind of this phase of working with businesses I call calibrating. So I kind of break it into three different sections, calibrate, which is building the foundation, getting it set for big growth, and getting everybody on the same sheet of music. And once you’ve done that, then it’s accelerating. So it’s figuring out the people, the processes, the roles, and everything that is going to take the business off and running. And then lastly is differentiation. So once we’ve calibrated, accelerated, it’s now time to differentiate and really pick your spot, a spot in the market and figure out how you sustain high-performance growth, and really define your unique space. So this workshop is going to be all around the first phase, which is calibrating.
John: And one of the questions that I always like to start off with, especially for a group of leaders of the same organization, is where are you going? What is your desired destination or point of arrival? And I’ll usually do this in a way where I’ll have people write it out first individually, and then we’ll go around the room and we’ll put it up on the board or we’ll talk about it. And the purpose of that is a couple of things. One is I want to understand what truly their vision is and where they want to go. But what I’m also looking for is how in sync is that team? So how much do they all already speak from the same shoes to sing from the same sheet of music? Are their visions different? Because what I found is oftentimes and I see this in large organizations as well, small organizations, I find that many, many times there’s a lack of clarity around where that organization is going.
John: And for leaders, sometimes they themselves aren’t clear on the direction and vision of their organization. And this could be a regional VPs of somebody who’s got a part of a or large part of a bigger organization and not necessarily being in alignment. Their vision might not. Maybe they don’t understand what that company’s overall vision is. They don’t have crystal clarity around that. But what’s important is not only knowing the vision but being able to articulate it in a compelling, powerful way, because you think about all types of great
businesses that have these compelling visions that people ultimately want to follow. And when people understand where you’re trying to go, it helps them connect the dots a lot more with the reasons and the rationale behind some of the decisions that you might make.
John: So, for example, there are times you’re making decisions that people don’t understand. You’re communicating these decisions and they don’t understand. But when they do understand the bigger picture and the vision and we’re trying to get to sometimes it makes something that didn’t make sense, make sense. So my point in this is a couple of things. I want you to get your teams together. And again, whether you are the coach of a sports team or you’re running a company or a small company, or a division of a large one, get your teams together and do this exercise. Have them each individually, write down the vision of where you’re trying to get to and then go around the room and just see what the answers are.
John: Are they in line with your thinking? If they’re not or sometimes they don’t even know what the vision is, who’s that on? That’s you as the leader, right? It’s your job to ultimately provide a clear, compelling vision and communicate, communicate, communicate, communicate. You cannot over-communicate the vision of your organization. If your vision is to be number one, then you should be talking about that every single group meeting, every single time you can. If your vision is to get into a certain unique space in the market, be a leader in market share, maybe it’s to ultimately serve a certain niche of clients that have not been served. Whatever it is, it’s to define that in the most colorful, engaging, compelling way you possibly can, because that’s ultimately what causes people to follow along.
John: And you think about companies like SpaceX, you know, their mission is to ultimately inhabit. I mean, what a cool vision, wow, can you imagine that being part of that endeavor and that team of people that are working to put us up on Mars, what I get behind that, I’d work 60, 70, 80 hours to do something like that if I was an integral part of making that happen. Wow. If I had any know-how of building a rocket ship or anything like that. But wow, what a cool thing. So think about the vision of your organization.
John: A couple of things. Is it clear, is it compelling? Can other people in your organization retell it as passionately as you can? And is it consistent across the board? Is everybody singing from that same sheet of music? If it’s not, it’s an opportunity to take a step back, bring everybody together and redefine exactly where you’re going. I promise you, that will make your job a lot easier and you will see progress. You’ll see things happen that didn’t happen before. When people understand where it is you’re trying to get through. Besides, the likelihood of getting there is a lot higher when everybody’s on the same page.
John: So quick one. This is probably one of the quicker ones we’ve done. But just a recent experience and thought that I wanted to share to help you as leaders cast a powerful, clear vision and make sure your entire team is on the same page. So thanks for joining us today, as always. Subscribe like all that kind of good stuff. Stay tuned for information on my book, which is coming out. Tomorrow’s Leader. In the next month or two, I will give you an advanced opportunity to purchase that. And also my TED talk will be hitting social media very soon. Stay tuned for that as well. Thanks for joining us today. Look forward to seeing you next time. Thanks.
John (Closing): Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions, or inquiries, about having me at your next event, or personal coaching, reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org Once again, that’s email@example.com. Thanks! Lead on!