Effective leadership can be measured and defined. For example, in The Leadership Circle Profile (LCP), the Achieving summary dimension measures the extent to which the leader offers visionary, authentic, and high achievement leadership.

According to research and results of surveys and profiles of over a half a million executives, those leaders who excel in business performance also have high levels of Achieving.

A high level of Achieving means that leaders excel in these four areas:

  1. Strategic focus
  2. Purposeful and visionary
  3. Achieves results
  4. Decisiveness

Purposeful and visionary is the most positively correlated competency to effective leadership development. This means that when you improve leaders’ abilities to be purposeful and visionary, 92% of any improvements made in this competency will translate into effective leadership. That is a huge payoff. If you are not working on this competency, you are missing out on a huge payback to effective leadership.

This purposeful and visionary competency is very similar to the outcome creating structure-of-mind I talked about in a prior post. If you stay focused on what you’re trying to create (by being purposeful and visionary), you will be more effective because you have your eyes on the prize. Anytime you stay focused on what you want, instead of what you don’t want, you will be more effective.

I sometimes use sports analogies to communicate how this works. If you are a race car fan you may know that race car drivers talk about the importance of keeping their eyes focused on the track and not the wall. If the race car driver looks at the wall for even a split second, there is a higher probability that they will hit that wall. We go where we are focused.

When I work with leaders, I am constantly reminding them to think about what they want instead of what they do not want. As mentioned in the structures-of-mind blog post, if we are reacting to the problem and using a problem-reacting structure of mind we will constantly be working to eliminate problems rather than create what we want. Although there are times when this is needed, a leader is someone who is focused on an outcome they are inspiring to and motivating others to create.

This is probably the biggest challenge of any leader. Staying focused on the task of inspiring and motivating a purposeful and visionary outcome will make you an effective leader and create the conditions for your people to do their best work. This is what effective leadership is all about.

What do you think? Do you struggle to stay focused on purpose and vision? As always, I’d love to hear from you. I can be reached at 425-533-4330 or email Marty@VondrellLeadership.com, here or on LinkedIn.