President Barack Obama was addressing Howard University and talking about the role of future generations recently. He made an interesting point within the speech and said ‘you have to go through life with more than just a passion for change; you need a strategy’. It is something I thought worth of further consideration.
I see the point he is making and as leaders in whatever way having a passion for the work you do and for the developments you need to make is essential. You need to be able to show your passion and share it across the organisation or whoever you are work alongside. Encouraging people to move to new ways of working or other changes need leaders to have an authenticity that is obvious so it can be infectious.
Of course all that drive and determination is not going to get you anywhere if you don’t have a clear strategy for the future. There has to be some structure in place that when pieced together explains the change and what it will become. Strategy without passion is like having a plan that is very dry and few understand. But also having passion without strategy is going to ensure a very random future.
I also think there are other factors for the success of future leaders including commitment, knowledge, insight and creativity. I am sure people could come up with many other elements that people need. However, I think it all boils down to having two elements that are of equal importance, work together and support each other. These two elements are having an analytical approach but ensuring the creativity to make it real for the workforce or whoever is relevant.
In many cases leaders have more of one than the other and it makes it difficult to really achieve the desired outcomes. A workforce need to really buy into both the change and the developments that are required. Obama makes an important point for those future leaders urging them to be more rounded and able to both fire people up to drive change and then channel them with a clear strategy.