There is no such thing as effective leadership if it doesn’t begin with a dream, and some clear cut goals. On the other hand, unless someone does something proactively to achieve his dreams, the dreams never become reality, and simply remain dormant promises. It may be exactly that need for the combination and symbiotic relationship between dreaming and doing that is one of the primary reasons that we observe so few truly great leaders. Dr. Robert Schuller put it this way, “Yes, you can be a dreamer and a doer too. If you will remove one word from your vocabulary: impossible.” To achieve optimal leadership, one must have a compelling dream that fosters important goals. The true leader then takes action to achieve these dreams, and make them reality, for otherwise one’s dreams will never wake up.
1. In my over three decades of working closely with well over a thousand leaders and wannabes, I gave learned that few people ascend to a leadership position with a compelling dream. Without that dream, how can someone be truly self – motivated, and without that personal drive, how can one motivate others to take action. There is little doubt that very few will follow someone who does not provide a compelling reason for others to listen. One of the biggest factors in our present day dearth of real leaders is that many ascend to positions for all the wrong reasons, and therefore are not motivated sufficiently personally. When someone in leader is insufficiently motivated, he will rarely exhibit the necessary persistence and perseverance that is needed to become a great leader.
2. While effective leadership must begin with an essential dream, little constructive or meaningful occurs until a leader commits to take the necessary actions to accomplish what he feels important. This sometimes arduous journey can only effectively take place when dreams are developed into meaningful and clear goals, and then when these goals are acted upon. Goals without activity are simply another form of empty rhetoric, and until ideas are fully considered and developed, it is often difficult to understand realities and needs. Great leaders transform goals, therefore, to action plans, and not only plan what their top priority might be, but develop alternatives to use as contingencies.
I have never seen anything more harmful to an organization that to have consecutive individuals hold leadership positions who either don’t have dreams/ motivations, don’t have goals, and/ or refuse to take timely action to get an organization to where it needs to be. Leadership that is merely rhetoric is not leadership at all!