As a leader, you set a vision, rally energy into that vision, and remove obstacles. The vision you establish should be bold, which requires taking risk. Try making a bold vision without risk, and you’ll end up with a cowardly vision that inspires no one.
Sounds simple, right? But how often do you delegate vision-setting to committees? You ask management to tell you what to do. You ask your clients what they want. You ask peers and subordinates to collaborate and set vision.
No one gets fired for asking management for input, asking clients for input, or collaborating with peers and subordinates. However, too many leaders abdicate their responsibility. They take input from everyone, blend it together, and set a vision that offends no one. In doing so, neither have they inspired anyone. Leadership is watered down into nothing as the result of the fear of failure and the fear of displeasing others.
Make a deliberate effort to be bold. Yes, you need to collect input and collaborate, but the objective is to set a vision that inspires. That will require making some assumptions and taking some risks. It will require discarding some input from stakeholders. You will draw criticism from those who disagree. You will come under scrutiny by management. Don’t avoid this, embrace it.
Be courageous, be ready for the trial by fire, and be prepared to see it through.