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KEN: Seeing Way Beyond Barbie

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to motivate quality behavior. Reading time 3:27.

     Can do! As a leader, you have that can-do spirit, energy and drive. But the most effective leaders voice their can-do mantra with a special accent on their “ken” that turns performance into mastery and productivity into even greater profitability.

     aa wave  With their ken, leaders can “gain understanding, insight and vision, “ according to the dictionary definition of the word “ken.” With their ken, leaders see beyond what others merely can.

      With their ken, a leader’s vision becomes something you feel more than something you see. With ken, a leader’s vision becomes an anchor more than a target, a vision that stabilizes the waves of change. And with their ken, a leader’s vision becomes a take on what it all mean rather than what means it will all take.

     With their ken, a leader’s vision becomes the father of purpose and the mother of invention. No matter how stacked the odds.

     Maybe that’s why the Bible notes in Proverbs 29:18 that where there is no vision the people perish. And maybe that’s why Warren Bennis in his book On Becoming a Leader notes the power of a vision to integrate the value in virtue and knowledge.

    aa wave 1Bennis says: “Knowledge without vision and virtue breeds technocrats. Virtue without vision and knowledge breeds idealogues. Vision without virtue and knowledge breeds demagogues.”

     With ken–with an insight and understanding– leaders don’t simply have a vision: their vision has them. Their vision is compelling, thrusting them into a mindset that smacks of conviction more than mere commitment.

     No wonder that poet Williams Wadsworth Longfellow called a vision “a walking dream” and poet William Butler Yeats observed that “in dreams begins responsibility.”

     Another poet—Emily Dickinson—noted the power of a vision to provide more insight than sight—to stem from the heart more than from the eye—to stimulate more than educate—to come to know something without actually seeing it, touching it or doing it.

 “I never saw a moor.
I never saw the sea.
Yet know I how the heather looks and
what a wave must be.”

    Ken-and-Barbie With their ken, leaders are more certain of their destiny than their destination; more certain of where they are headed than where they are going.

     With their ken, leaders are driven no matter how many obstacles they face, according to Irving Stone, the biographer of leaders ranging from Charles Darwin to Michaelangelo. “Sometime in their life they have a vision or a dream – something they believe in should be accomplished –and they commit themselves to it. They are beaten over the head and they stand back up.”

     With their ken, the most effective leaders develop an enabling, empowering and energizing vision that springs from values that are shared understood and acted upon,  a vision of Ken so compelling, so captivating, so enriching that sees way beyond the Barbies of the world.

Today’s ImproveMINT

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