1 Oct 2021 | When you think of some of the most successful companies in the world, it’s a safe bet you also think of the visionary and inspiring leader that heads up that company. Apple you immediately think of Steve Jobs, Tesla invokes Elon Musk, Amazon – Jeffrey Bezos. Now more than ever, in a world of change and uncertainty, businesses need impactful leaders. Leaders who can inspire and shape the people and organisations that they lead. But how can we help them to become the leaders we need?

Firstly, we thank Wiley for conducting over four years of research to establish exactly what the most impactful leaders do, and how they go about it:

  1. Leaders create a vision of new possibilities and an imagined future condition for their team or organisation
  2. They build alignment around that vision
  3. And they champion the execution of their vision to turn it into reality

They called this three-step process “the work of a leader”.

Crafting a Vision

Crafting a vision is the first stage of the leadership process and requires a leader to explore possibilities by remaining open to new ideas and concepts and prioritising the big picture. Leaders need to be bold and willing to go out on a limb to make changes, and so typically adventurous leaders who are willing to speak out rather than holding back will thrive when it comes to crafting their vision. Finally, before embarking on a potentially risky vision they need to consolidate on this exploration of bold new ideas by testing assumptions and exploring implications, through both their own investigation and by seeking the counsel of others.

Once these components have been fully engaged, you should have a bold, achievable vision to work with.

Building Alignment

Now to get everyone in alignment on this vision by ensuring that everyone is on the same page and committed to the same vision. This requires the leader to communicate with clarity – firstly to explain the rationale behind the change in direction. Anytime a leader announces a new vision team members want to know why things are changing – “why are we doing this?” So let them know upfront.

Secondly, the message that conveys the vision must have some structure – what is going to happen when, what are the steps? This is where you need to engage in dialogue with your team, discuss their perspectives, engage in productive conflict, and remain receptive to what others have to say. This two-way dialogue is critical to gaining alignment.

Once you have created clarity around the vision and engaged in discussion around it, you need to inspire those you lead to share in this same vision by being expressive and encouraging. Inspiring leaders get people excited about their vision for the future, make everyone feel invested in working towards that shared vision, rather than just going through the motions because they have been told to do so.

Building alignment is all about communication with your team – getting everyone on board with your vision by getting their buy-in and constantly engaging them to keep working towards that unified vision.

Championing Execution

The final step is where leaders see the transition of their vision into a reality, by championing execution. Execution requires establishing and maintaining momentum which means that leaders are responsible for setting the pace of projects. Getting the right pace is important and leaders need to be driven in their approach and constantly initiate action to maintain this momentum. They also need to ensure a structured plan is being followed and analyse what is happening with the project and participants. You want to remain on the front foot and avoid improvisation as much as possible by taking the time to analyse progress and adjust as needed.

Finally, leaders also need to be skilful at providing feedback. There are two types of feedback that are necessary to keep the team on track. Firstly, addressing problems as they arise to ensure they are being resolved and secondly, offering praise to team members for their successes.

The Everything DiSC Work of Leaders®

The combination of best leadership practices with the insights of Everything DiSC is so invaluable throughout this profile due to the recurring emphasis on communication, and its importance at all stages of leadership. Without the ability to convey a vision, gain alignment around it and get people involved with its execution through clear communication, then you are not effectively leading anyone.

By using DiSC style-based insights, the Work of Leaders profile can identify what behaviours and tendencies will shape participants leadership experience in regards to vision, alignment & execution, as well as the more detailed components involved in each step. This provides a clear understanding of what each of these components involves, how well those behaviours are naturally exhibited and how they can be developed.

Appropriate at all Levels

It is also important to note that this leadership process – Vision, Alignment, Execution – is not just for the senior executive level, it can be used by leaders at all levels. This is because even though the process will look slightly different at each level of leadership, every one of these steps is applicable to all leaders, whether that is as the CEO of a company, or the manager of a small team, you are leading a group of people to turn vision into reality.

So, what will participants get out of it?

  • Understand leadership best practices
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Awareness of leadership strengths, weaknesses, and potential blind spots
  • Learn how to approach each of the stages of leadership through a personalised approach
  • Understand how DiSC style impacts leadership approach
  • Develop leadership abilities through learning how to craft a vision, build alignment & champion execution
  • Develop the skills to lead teams and organisations of any size

Each personalised profile is perfect for stimulating conversation and challenging perspectives to encourage discussion and reflection. Its clear structure and personalised approach provides a learning pathway that identifies the areas of leadership that a leader will excel in naturally, the areas where they will have to put in more conscious effort, as well as where and how to start developing these abilities. It encourages action through feedback, personalised tips, and strategies to improve leadership skills.

This is the beauty of Everything DiSC – its ability to take the big picture and address the individual components in easy to implement steps, making it ideal for leadership development, professional coaching, and career development. Enabling leaders, at all levels, to understand their own leadership style and its impact on their effectiveness.

Written by: Samantha Pilz