Growing into a great leader won’t happen by accident, and it won’t happen overnight. You will have to work hard and make changes in your life. You’ll need to become a student of leadership, regularly participating in opportunities to learn and grow.
The first step toward becoming a great leader is deciding that you want to be one. Leadership requires commitment, hard work, and a willingness to change.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do right now, today, to become a better leader to get some quick traction. I will share three of these with you in this blog post.
1) Define Your Vision in Writing
Few things are more important in your business than having a clear vision. A vision provides guidance and a sense of purpose, which is essential for achieving great things. Yet many people never take the time to define their vision in writing.
There are several reasons why this is a bad idea. First, without putting your vision into words, it’s difficult to stay focused on it over the long term. Second, you can’t share your vision with others if you don’t have a written document to point to. Third, writing your vision down makes it more real and concrete, which will help you to achieve it more easily.
How can you expect people to join you if they can’t tell where you are going?
Your Vision Statement Will Answer Two Main Questions:
- Where are we going?
- Why is this important?
Additional Tips for Drafting Your Vision
Try to answer some of these additional questions in your vision statement:
- What is it that I want to accomplish?
- What does it look like when it is done?
- Why is this important to me?
- Why would potential partners care?
- How will this make the world a better place?
Also, try to keep your vision concise, such as in one or two sentences.
A passionately shared vision is like a magnet attracting partners to help you.
2) Write Out Your Mission
Where your vision answers the where and why questions, your mission statement will answer the what and how questions:
Your Mission Statement Will Answer Two Main Questions:
- What needs to be done to make the vision a reality?
- How will we do it?
A good mission statement should also be clear and concise, outlining the main goals you hope to achieve. It should also include an action plan detailing the specific steps you will take to achieve those goals and make your vision a reality. Additionally, it’s important to consider who your target audience is, as well as any resources you will need, when writing your mission statement.
There is no one definitive way to write a good mission statement, as every company has its own unique goals and challenges. However, some key elements that should be included are a clear sense of the current landscape and what needs to be done to improve it, a target audience that you are trying to reach, and any specific strategies or tactics you will use to achieve your goals.
If you are struggling to write your own mission statement, there are many online resources that can help.
A mission defines what a business is, a vision describes where it’s going. Mission is here; vision is still out there. Mission is now; vision is next. (Michael Hyatt)
3) List Your Core Values
Core values define who you are, how you will act as a company, and acceptable employee behaviors, including management! Every company should have its core values written down, even if in pencil at first! I don’t recommend changing core values often, but it’s natural for them to evolve over time.
There are many different ways to define your core values, but some common ones include honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, and commitment. These values can apply to both the company as a whole and individual employees in their interactions with each other and clients. For example, if one of your core values is “respect,” this might mean that you treat your employees and clients with courtesy and kindness, listen carefully to their concerns, and treat everyone’s ideas with consideration.
If you are struggling to define your core values, here are some good questions to ask yourself:
- What kind of company do I want to build?
- How do I want my employees to behave?
- What kind of environment do I want?
- What do I want the culture to be like?
- Aside from making a profit, what’s the most important to me?
Though it may seem like a lot of work, taking the time to write out your vision, mission, and core values is important for your business. Not only will it help you stay focused on what’s important, but it will also provide a framework for making decisions and reaching your goals. If you already have a team, include some key members or the entire team writing these down. And if you ever find yourself struggling with where to start or what to do next, these documents can be a valuable resource to guide and inspire you.
Writing these three simple things down will make you a better leader, and they will gain traction quickly. So don’t wait any longer! Start writing today! And finally, don’t ever assume your team members know these things. Vocalize and visual them until your team is repeating them.