Belief, authenticity and emotional regulation
“The top three skills leaders need to sell their vision”, says executive coach and business strategy mentor Neela Bettridge, “are belief, authenticity, and the ability to create space between stimulus and response.”
Believe in what you are doing and why you are doing it
Neela, who facilitates Westminster Business School’s new Leadership Workshop for senior managers and board members: Change Management: selling the vision says that “any leader, at whatever level within an organisation, needs to be clear on why they have bought into a vision if they haven’t created it themselves.
“And if you’re in charge of creating it, they must truly believe it, and ensure there’s a strong value set behind it. Because if you don’t believe it as a leader, you won’t be able to take your team or organisation with you. Your lack of belief will show. It will be leaking from you.”
Be true to yourself
If your job is to lead a team or organisation towards a vision that isn’t your own, maintaining a true sense of authenticity can be difficult. “It depends”, says Neela, “on how inauthentic you are being asked to be. Life is not perfect, and there are going to be situations where you don’t entirely believe in the vision that’s being put forward.”
In those situations, leaders need deep self-knowledge, and a firm understanding of where their limits are.
“If your whole value and belief system is being compromised in the process, I would argue that you shouldn’t be doing it. Because you will not be able to implement that change programme successfully.”
Take the time to think – and feel – things through
In a complex, 24-hour world, with diverse stakeholders holding divergent opinions, lots of demands, social media, and so on we are constantly being encouraged to respond quickly to stimuli.
“When the going gets tough, what happens to you? What I’m talking about here is how you create the space for yourself as a leader. You don’t have to respond immediately. Being able to sit back, without too much emotion, and really look objectively at what is going on so you come up with the best way forward that you can in the circumstances. That’s a real skill.”
Become a change maker
Neela’s workshop offers leaders the tools and techniques designed to enable them to inspire and energise their teams, departments and organisations to work to realise a vision. “It will enable you to become a change maker,” she says.
Don’t waste time!
“There’s a lot of time and energy wasted,” says Neela, “on change programmes, particularly on how leaders communicate their vision and get buy-in from their department, team or an organisation.” Her extensive experience of working with people leading organisations through change has demonstrated that” doing a workshop like this can halve the time that an individual takes to bring whoever they’re trying to influence with them.”
What are you waiting for?
Watch Neela Bettridge talk about her workshop
4 essential resources for change makers
A Coach’s Guide to Developing Exemplary Leaders James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner with Elaine Biech
What Leaders Really Do by John B Kotter in Harvard Business Review
The Making of a Corporate Athlete by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
Leadership courses from Westminster Business School