For the past 20 years, I have asked unlimited senior executives, young students, middle managers, and industry experts one common question; what an essential attribute of a good leader is? The most common answer I receive from most of the people is “Vision.”
That’s true! Vision inspires movement among people. A vision initially drives salvation, equality, freedom, domination, and expansion; everything. If the leader has a great vision, the teams can automatically follow the right path.
Vision can maintain a hold on our imagination, but it is equally valid that it often doesn’t leave a positive impact on our body. Instead, many of us end up sacrificing our bodies while running behind different visions. As a common trend, visions promise us a bright future while demanding our life. In many cases, that sacrifice matters a lot; and many times, it is just ignored. But one needs to understand that at one side where vision can ignite us, it can also burn us.
When a leader’s attention entirely rely on vision alone, it cannot be defined as leadership in real sense. It is high time to say that limitations of such type of restricted leadership come out at the time of crisis. For instance, let is consider coronavirus pandemic. People had nothing like that in their vision, and when it arrived, most of the leaders failed to survive because they failed in this vision test. When such kinds of disasters and problems come, they lead to a sudden drop in revenues, and at this point, we don’t need a call to action; instead, first, we need a stable holding on the situation so that we can plan a purposeful move.
Now, when we talk about holding, there is a specific meaning of this world in psychology. It defines the way an authority figure interprets and contains what is happening in the hour of crisis. Here, interpreting means the ability to make sense out of confusing situations, and providing means the ability to soothe the related distress. Consider a CEO who, even after facing a significant downturn, assures his employees that the company has enough resources to handle the storm. The jobs will stay protected; this state of mind further gives him the ability to rethink the situation and get clear directions to develop business. It is holding; the ability to think with a clear mindset and offer reassurance to other people to stick together.
This process helps to inspire others and create more positive business outcomes even in the hours of crisis. On the other side, leaders that cannot hold are more likely to face stress, anger, and swing of emotions. These different reactions may further make it difficult to handle the crisis. Such leaders feel paralyzed when they face unexpected challenges; neither can they gain the faith of their employees, nor can they make positive decisions for their business. Hence, leaders in different organizations need to develop their psychology while gaining the ability to hold, survive, and grow even in difficult times.