Visionary Transition

C ooperation, where one plus one makes two, is very important. But collaboration is more important, where one plus one makes eleven. The biggest overarching role of the visionary leader is to see where people need to be, then find a way to take them there in a good and righteous way, and help them build fundamental capacity through transition. Transition is the acquisition of fresh new knowledge every day, shifting people, places, and things into and out of your life, and making sure that those people, places, and things are in the proper place at the proper time on the proper thing that we are working on together. Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when we think we’ve got status quo, with years of study, understanding, and stewing in your own juices. Embedding social impact into your business model is the wave of the future. Peter Drucker talked about the social responsibility of the corporate world; fundamentally, that is to take problems and turn them into business opportunities, and to educate, inform, and empower people ultimately to do the same. Visionary leadership requires looking not at the problem, but at what could be the opportunity, and figuring out how to help people do well while doing good. That can

be done in almost every business model to a greater degree than it is being done today. There are some elements of that in the corporate world. But as we peel back the onion on that, as we grow as a people and a country, that has to become more prevalent and be brought to the surface.I am committed to showing my little world how to do that more effectively and better. Leadership is the only way it’s going to get done. It won’t be done by osmosis. It won’t get done because of scholarship, although scholarship is critically important. But it will be done by righteous and well-communicated powerful examples executed by good and righteous leaders. Nothing ever will replace human contact in the cultivation, nurturing, and building of relationships and the understanding of the human psyche and the power of the human touch and love. I am a big fan of the effective utilization of social media, but it will never replace face-to-face, body-to-body, eye-to- eye contact, as we look into the windows of the soul. Conversation gives me a chance to model the behavior that I expect from people. When people see how I comport myself, how I dress in a businesslike manner at a conference, how I frame my conversation, how I treat other people who are around me because I remain present 24/7, this is arm’s length mentoring. This is very important. Stay close to your customer. Stay close to

those following. We are all visual, tactile, kinesthetic, and auditory.That spreads virally. You are accessible. You are available. That now becomes the standard for language and behavior, and the things we are doing, learning, and growing become the norm. That is very important when leading people. Part of the job of the leader is to bring people along, sometimes kicking, screaming, and crying. One of my definitions of leadership is to be awake, alert, and dissatisfied at all times. We have come a long way, but we have much further to go. I am motivated by a positive anger directed toward positive change. Let me say that differently. You will never change that which you tolerate. You will only change when you get angry. People will not change when they see the light. People will change when they feel the heat. Every group must maximize its full human potential, and until such time, America will not reach its full human potential. Do you want the people who love you, know you, respect you, follow you, learn from you, and get coached andmentored by you,to point to that as this is how you should comport and behave going forward with your life? Don’t be discouraged by your imperfections, mistakes, and the dumb stuff you may have done in certain passages of your life. It’s okay. I know

28 I Nonprofit Performance Magazine

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