To experience and conceptualize three important leadership processes: envisioning; aligning others toward the vision; and ensuring execution or implementation.
Approximately 90 minutes
One copy of Three Roles of Leaders for each participant
Flip chart and markers
A room large enough for grouping participants in dyads and small groups comfortably. Chairs may be placed along the walls, keeping the central space open.
a. How did you feel when visualizing the pose or object?
b. How did the raw material feel when he or she was instructed by the sculptor? Did the raw material obey?
c. What did the sculptor do when the material did not respond positively?
d. How did the sculptors persuade or influence the materials to do what was wanted? How did the sculptors make the raw material understand the images that were visualized? (10 minutes.)
In the first round, instead of only one raw material (model), the sculptor may use two or three at a time and visualize accordingly.
Three Roles of Leaders
Leaders have to do different things depending on their areas of activity, roles, and responsibilities, as well as on their own desires and goals. The three tasks are common: envisioning, aligning followers to their vision, and ensuring execution. In all three roles, influencing remains the core skill.
The leader envisions the organization in the future, i.e., what will the organization be five years or ten years from now? This is the dream for the future organization: "the vision." The vision may be made more specific by formulating a mission. Envisioning essentially is dreaming, and dreaming requires imagination. A leader who is highly imaginative, intuitive, and creative envisions spontaneously. But many are strong analytical thinkers, and for them dreaming may be difficult. They have to depend on others-insiders and outsiders-to translate their dreams.
Aligning People Toward the Vision
For implementation, the leaders vision has to become the vision of followers-a shared vision. For this, the leader has to involve others and also involve them in the mission. The leader influences top management and key people of the organization through his or her skills and charisma. These key people, after internalizing the vision and mission, start converting others and aligning them toward the vision and mission.
When influencing people, four types of strategies are frequently used:
This leadership task is essential for actualizing the dreams. The leader specifies tasks, activities, and targets that must be carried out for achieving the vision and mission at different levels and by different groups. Agencies that will carry out the tasks are defined and spelled out clearly, as is a time frame. Once the activities are assigned to the appropriate people by the leader, he or she uses various strategies and styles to be sure the tasks are completed.
Schutz, W.C. (1967). FIRO B. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
This exercise was originally published in The 2005 Pfeiffer Annual: Consulting edited by Elaine Biech.
Parth Sarathi is a practicing manager with a diverse background. He started his career after obtaining a degree in metallurgical engineering and subsequently obtained PG qualifications in industrial engineering and management (H.R.). He is an accredited Behavior Process Facilitator, Thomas Profile Licensee, and Competency Assessor. An accomplished trainer and consultant, he has authored a number of books and articles.