How to be a memorable leader
Know Your Vision, Communicate It, and Live It
A Harvard Business School professor once said, “The only thing a CEO needs to do is communicate their vision, communicate their vision, and then communicate their vision.” Why is communicating the vision so important? Because if you don’t know where you’re going and tell others where you’re going, then you and everyone around you are going to lose the way. With all the things employees have going on in their lives, they’re distracted during some of the week, so it’s easy for them to get off track. Memorable leaders keep communicating the vision so everyone is always on the same page.
Living your vision and your company’s core values means everyone—those you report to and those who report to you—knows the vision as well. If you don’t understand your company’s vision or core values, have a conversation with your boss about them. Without vision and values, both companies and people lose their way—people are floundering, no one knows what they should be doing, and people hide their potential talent. Not a good situation for sure! For example, in a manufacturing company, getting the product out on time isn’t a core value and has nothing to do with the company’s vision. In order to have a healthy and synergistic team, people need to connect to something bigger than a goal of moving product. Vision and values make the difference.
Also realize that communicating a vision does not mean the leader needs to be talkative. Many memorable leaders are quiet and reserved, such as presidents Truman and Eisenhower. People follow memorable leaders because they exemplify their vision, not just tout it.
Being open to learning new things and admitting your limitations and your struggles give you power; it’s not a weakness. Realize that people don’t want to think they’re following a robot. They want to know that whoever they’re following is real.
Memorable leaders teach other leaders and are interested in the development of people beneath them. That’s why you need to be in touch with your direct reports and learn their dreams, goals, and career aspirations. As the old quote says, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” So the “teachable” part goes in two directions: you have to be willing to learn for yourself and you have to be willing to teach others.