Usually, leaders take time at the start of a new year to reflect on the previous year, identify what worked and what didn’t, set new goals, look for ways to improve results, and have a vision for the new year.
Leaders are responsible for steering their organizations and navigating them through uncharted territory and, at times, stormy conditions. The pandemic has put even the most experienced leaders to the test in recent years.
The ability to clearly assess emerging trends, your team’s skills and capacity, and the organization’s strategy all have a significant impact on whether your organization will achieve its goals. An effective leader must be able to see any pitfalls, blind spots, or roadblocks that may prevent them from achieving their goals.
Unfortunately, there are numerous examples of leaders who failed to recognize emerging trends and see what was on the horizon, resulting in their organization’s failure. Remember Blockbuster!
Years ago, I went to see a movie and noticed the screen was not as sharp as it usually was. At first, I thought the projector’s focus needed to be adjusted, then I realized it might be my eyes, so I moved a few rows closer.
Shortly after that, I visited the local eye doctor and walked out with a new pair of eyeglasses. But when I stepped out of the office building wearing my eyeglasses, the world looked different! I was unaware of how much detail and sharpness that I had been missing. I felt as if I saw trees, clouds, and faces for the first time! It was like going from a hazy TV reception to high definition 4K.
Similarly, as a leader, you may not be seeing things as clearly as you should. Without realizing it, your “vision” could be hindering your effectiveness as a leader as well as limiting your team’s ability to produce optimal results.
So, here are some steps to take to correct your vision:
Test Your Vision
I did not realize how much I was missing until I sought expert advice and got the new eyeglasses. A strategic consultant is like an eye doctor who can reveal blind spots, bring things into perspective, and help refocus your priorities.
When I was a ministry leader, I was unaware of our problems and shortcomings until I hired a consulting firm to do a top-to-bottom review of our ministry. It was not a criticism of our team or our efforts, but the consultants gave invaluable insights and perspective that we were not seeing.
Our ministry rocketed to a new level after making some changes based on their feedback. We reached more people, our revenue increased, and most importantly, we had a more focused vision of what we were called to do.
So, have your “vision” checked. Invite a strategic consultant to evaluate your organization’s brand position, structure, digital platforms, and operational and fundraising processes to ensure everything is aligned and operating optimally.
See the Big Picture
As a leader, you need to see the big picture to know how the parts work together. Each department manager of your organization will primarily see things from his or her limited perspective. Still, as the leader, you need to know how to make it all work together, like a conductor of an orchestra.
Profitability is an important metric, but other metrics need to be on your dashboard. Monitor conversion rates, engagement rates, cost of acquisition, and a host of other key performance indicators to provide a view of your organization’s performance, effectiveness, and overall financial health.
A dashboard in a car does not just show how fast you are going, but it has other indicators to help you know the condition of your vehicle.
So, be sure you have established your dashboard and information flow to ensure you are seeing the big picture.
Look for the Best in Others
People are the greatest asset of any organization. Unfortunately, some leaders focus on the weaknesses and failures of their team. Despite how hard an employee works to improve, some leaders cannot see the improvement because they only see their employee’s shortcomings.
I have made my share of blunders in my career. Thankfully, I have had leaders who helped me learn from my mistakes and drew out the hidden talents and dormant gifts in my life. Of course, they were not happy with my mistakes, and I had to receive correction and suffer the consequences, but they did not allow my mistakes to define their perception of me.
Unfortunately, you will occasionally experience employees who do not put forth their best, are unwilling to change, are divisive, and are unteachable. It would be best if you got rid of them. But I see most employees as diamonds in the rough who need to go through a process of refinement and polishing.
Great leaders learn how to see and bring out the best in others. As a result, their organization reaps the benefits.
Seek Out Expertise
As a ministry leader, I learned the value of working with consultants who are experts in their respective fields and utilizing them to maximize results. Unfortunately, some organizations decide to bring work in-house to save money, when in actuality, it costs more money because of their marginalized results.
Your in-house staff may have the passion and heart for your ministry, but they are not adequately skilled to do the work. Therefore, the organization’s results and impact are diminished. This is why organizations should supplement their team with expertise in key areas.
Expand Your Perspective
I did not realize how much I was in a fishbowl until I worked with various ministries, nonprofits, and organizations through our agency. We have the privilege to work with organizations of all sizes, perspectives, affiliations, and styles.
It has expanded my perspective, grown my knowledge base and expertise, enriched me with new relationships and ideas, and helped me see how God expresses Himself and flows through others. It has been refreshing!
Do not get stuck in a bubble and do things because this is how you have always done them. Attend conferences, watch webinars, hire strategic consultants, bring in a new employee—these can help bring new ideas and expand your perspective.
Your “vision” could hinder your effectiveness and limit your organization’s impact, so take the first step by having your vision tested. Let Infinity Concepts be your “eye doctor” to identify any blind spots, help focus your vision, and see better results. Click here or call us at 724-733-1200.
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