3rd Station – Creating and communicating vision and direction
You need to be online (with audio) to watch some TED Talks and have a pen and paper to hand to capture your thoughts. Have the Discovering a Spirit of Leadership resource sheet to hand and a marker pen to play TED Talks Bingo.
Throughout history and in our time some of our greatest leaders are those with the ability to create a vision for the future of the nation, business, community, cause, or people that they lead, and set a direction towards that vision. Visionary Leaders are also characterised by their capacity to communicate their vision in ways that inspire and motivate others, drawing on a wide range of skills, attributes and virtues in the process.
Watch and Learn:
Explore some of the TED Talks and articles listed below. As you go consider the following questions (and make notes).
- What does it take to be a successful leader in the 21st Century? What qualities, skills and virtues are needed?
- How might the skills needed for successful leadership change in the future?
- What do you think is the difference between having a vision and having a goal?
- Why is it important for leaders to have, and communicate, clear vision and set strong direction?
- Simon Sinek says, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it” What is your “why”?
As you watch the videos listen out for mention of the 12 Round Square Discoveries and mark them off as you hear them. If you get a “full house” jump out of your chair and scream to surprise your family:
Barack Obama: ‘5 takeaways from Barack Obama’s young leaders’ address
Former US President Barack Obama talks to 200 Obama Foundation Leaders from across the Asia Pacific at the Obama Foundation Leader’s programme held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Roselinde Torres: ‘What it takes to be a great leader’
Roselinde Torres describes 25 years observing truly great leaders at work, and shares the three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future.
Simon Sinek: ‘How great leaders inspire action’
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership — starting with a golden circle and the question: “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright brothers
Extend your learning: Readings
- 10 Unique Perspectives On What Makes A Great Leader, by Forbes
- 10 Behaviours of Real Leaders, by Entrepreneur Europe
- 6 Characteristics of an Effective Leader, by Harvard Business School Online
Consolidate with a task:
Choose a leader from the videos you have watched and reflect on how their thoughts on how leaders create and communicate vision and direction and the effect that this has. Think about the leadership approaches they discussed, the visions they shared and the ways in which those visions have influenced others. Write a short statement that sets out your vision for the future – how you want the world to be (remember to include your “why). If you are working in a group, you might connect with your classmates and swap vision statements.