Today, we’re digging into The Seven Responsibilities of the 21st Century CEO, starting with #1 – Setting the Direction. We all know that setting a clear direction for your organization is important, but far too many leaders go about it from a place of control.

Instead, sustainable and successful direction setting starts with listening. It’s not pushing an idea on to people, or convincing them that your way is right, but rather opening yourself up to the contributions of the minds around you. Through the combined perspective and imagination of your team, you co-create desired outcomes that are worthy of everyone’s commitment. When you get yourself coached, you begin to realize how vital setting the direction is for not only your life, for creating a unified team.

When your people are participants in determining the direction of the organization, they are empowered to feel a sense of ownership and sense of self, further sparking the imaginative power that drives creative companies of all kinds.

Leaders can overlook the power of listening in the misplaced urgency of getting ahead. Instead of slowing down to take in perspectives and potentially game changing ideas, they barrel forward, forgetting both the anchor of their core vision, and the enormous potential of collaboration.

So, in the presentation below, I unpack some of these ideas about patience, creative generation through shared vision, and how to treat your employees as creative partners in this mission to establish a clear direction. As CEO, you are a dealer in hope and guidance, but aligning your team alongside your shared cause will create powerful outcomes for everyone involved.

We’re all custodians of the creation, each oriented by the direction we create together. You can invite this creation through being brave enough to listen to the contributions of others. You can lead, and you must, but that leadership comes alive through the imaginative powers of your team. To experience the helpful help of coaching, listen here.