November 2013 | Nano Tools | Leadership
Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.
Contributor: Rob-Jan de Jong, Founder of Vongolo Consulting, Instructor in Wharton’s Global Strategic Leadership program, and author of the forthcoming book The Vision Thing.
Inspire others with your vision of the future by crafting and delivering a compelling short story.
Having a vision of the future for your team, your division, or your organization — and setting the kind of long-term goals that will get you there — is just the first step in visionary leadership. Inspiring others to believe in and commit to that vision is what moves it from idea to action. And you won’t inspire followership with another set of slides or a memo. Instead, you need a combination of message, emotion, and authenticity to communicate your vision most effectively.
The sixty-second vision is a short speech — similar to an elevator pitch — that combines these elements in a powerful, imaginative, yet linear way. Using metaphor and personal anecdotes, it is more compelling than referencing specific strategies. By following the simple action steps below, you can create an appeal to your followers that will inspire them to commit to your vision. And there is an additional benefit: crafting the sixty-second pitch will also help you think more deeply about and clarify your vision.
“Leadership, Vision, and Organizational Effectiveness,” Stephen J. Zaccaro and Deanna J. Banks. In The Nature of Organizational Leadership: Understanding the Performance, Stephen J. Zaccaro and Richard J. Klimoski, eds. (John Wiley and Sons, 2002). Provides a framework for understanding vision in an organizational context, including definitions, leadership behaviors, and the role of vision in organizational effectiveness. It also includes links to other academic research on the topic.
Speak Like Churchill, Stand Like Lincoln: 21 Powerful Secrets of History’s Greatest Speakers, James Humes (Three Rivers Press, 2002). Provides historical examples to build communication skills for greater influence and inspiration.
Rob-Jan De Jong teaches in Wharton’s Global Strategic Leadership program.
Nano Tools for Leaders® was conceived and developed by Deb Giffen, MCC, Director of Innovative Learning Solutions at Wharton Executive Education. It is jointly sponsored by Wharton Executive Education and Wharton’s Center for Leadership and Change Management, Wharton Professor of Management Michael Useem, Director. Nano Tools’ Academic Director is John Paul MacDuffie, Wharton Associate Professor of Management, and Director of the Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI) at Wharton’s Mack Institute for Innovation Management.
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