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3 Here and Now Valuable Roles of a Powerful Leader

What does that phrase, here and now, really mean?  I’ve used it in the title of this post on the roles of a powerful leader but for what purpose?

Yes, I did have a method to my madness.  ☺  In my madness, my method of using “here and now” was to convey the fact that a leader always has to be perceived as in the here and now.  The effective and powerful leader can’t be seen as off in “LaLa Land.”

So, above all and regardless of what role a leader is currently in, s/he has to be in the present moment.  As we will see, successfully fulfilling each role is critical and it can’t be done but in the “here and now.”

With that as a foundational point we come to another major challenge of being a powerful leader.  The challenge— Having a clear understanding of what the 3 most valuable roles of powerful leadership are and how to fulfill them.

The reason understanding the roles of powerful leadership is so challenging comes down to the sense of overwhelm you can feel the minute you consider any of those roles.  But, as they say, “knowledge is power” so let’s broaden your knowledge and right here and now!  ;<)

First among the 3 valuable roles of powerful leadership is being a visionary.

As a leader, before all else you must (while in the here and now) see a clear direction into the future of your organization.  You have to see past near horizons to the potential beyond.

The way you do that is to look at where you are now as an organization.  Project that here and now reality and create a vision of the future reality as it will be in three to five years.

If you can’t see the vision of your three to five year future reality, then you have no chance of leveraging you’re here and now reality to achieve that vision.

There shouldn’t be ten pages of text to explain it, either?  You should be able to describe your vision in no more than three sentences.

With vision the here and now will become the then and now.  In the entire cast of characters you could play, being a visionary is a MAJOR role as a powerful leader.

The next role is a “supporting role” to your visionary role.  There is no way the vision of tomorrow can allow you to remain as you and your organization are today.  In short, realizing the vision requires you to fulfill the role of change agent.

What is a change agent?  The answer is simply a person(s) who helps an organization transform itself from what it is into what it needs to be.

Therein lays the relationship between the role of visionary and change agent.  You will not reach your vision without change!

Change is always a challenge because is seems scary.  Organizations, as people, can get too comfortable and inevitably begin to decline, as a result.  So, the fear of change has to be overcome and a powerful leader helps people and the organization through it.  Here’s how:

6 Steps to Managing Change

  1. Define what needs to change
  2. Identify why the changes are needed
  3. Develop a compelling story around the first two steps
  4. Tell and retell your story throughout the period of change and enlist support of people
  5. Celebrate the “wins” along the path of change
  6. After the change is completed, start the process of managing change all over again because powerful leaders know change is a never ending necessity.

For a deep dive into this whole topic of change agent/management there is a great article that was published in Forbes Magazine.  I’ve provided you the link because the information is way beyond the scope of this post but, if you need a greater depth of understanding, the article is an excellent source.

The third role of a powerful leader is one of being a mentor.

Your people will not embrace your vision or the needed changes in them and the organization without trusting you.  It’s absolutely true!  You can have the most inspiring vision of the future.  And, you can have a compelling story of why the organization must change so it can realize the vision.  Neither of those facts will overcome the inertia created by a lack of trust in you as the leader.

Having your peoples’ trust is the “starring role” of a powerful leader.  It is the thing that will bring home every award you could wish for related to change and achieving your vision.

Everything in the organization breaks when you, as the leader, break trust.

Conversely, if your people have a firm belief in your reliability and strength of character, realizing your vision and handling the required changes is almost automatic.  Then, when the curtain comes down and the lights go up the applause will be thunderous as you all take your bow in the warm glow of a job well done.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?  The question in the spotlight right now probably is how do you build trust? It’s never easy but the process is a simple step-by-step.

  1. You have to care and your people have to know it
  2. You can’t be seen as compromising for expediency
  3. Collaboration has to involve everybody…not a chosen few
  4. You hold yourself and everybody else accountable as appropriate to the roles being played
  5. Feedback is provided frequently with particular emphasis on reinforcing positive behaviors
  6. Corrective feedback involves a collaborative discussion with agreed upon specific direction for change
  7. In general, communications to you and from you does not involve retribution but a search for understanding
  8. Everybody participates in the wins and collaborates to overcome the losses
  9. The above steps are etched in stone and are never skipped

Like I said building and maintaining trust is never easy but following the above 9 steps makes it simple.  When you do all that, you are successfully fulfilling your role as a mentor…a trusted advisor.

“Here and now” you have a deep enough understanding of the most valuable roles of a powerful leader:  Visionary—Change Agent—Mentor.

garylogonewbrownsmallWhat is your first step toward fulfilling each of those roles?

Please share your thoughts by commenting below.  

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Crop of GNCC ShotMindstate mentor, author, trainer and speaker, Gary Greenfield (@LifeRider) provides self-employed people inspirational insight and concise business ideas to help improve mindstate and minimize stress. He believes a mindstate that is positive and stress that is minimized helps self-employed people better profit through performance.

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