If your reasons for wanting to be a leader, include the pragmatic88 to make a meaningful difference, for the better, for your organization, you must make a decision, whether you want to get something important done and achieved, or merely wish to make some symbolic gesture! While it is important for leaders to have lofty goals and ideals, those who fail to realize that symbolism will only get you so far, and will rarely make a difference, in the longer-term, unless accompanied by a way to get, at least some things achieved, in a progressive manner! Therefore, we will discuss the concept of pragmatic idealism, which, at first glance, may appear to be somewhat of an oxymoron. However, it is anything but that! Rather, this concept merges an ideal with reality, and realizes that while you may not immediately achieve all your lofty objectives, it is important to begin making progress, and that, it is nearly always easier to make gradual, evolutionary changes, that revolutionary ones. Here are 6 steps for using pragmatic idealism, to make things better.
1. Care deeply: If you don’t truly care, you will rarely achieve what’s best! Rarely are meaningful changes achieves, without some obstacles and challenges, so you must be ready, willing and able to persist and persevere, and continue your quest for making things better.
2. Evaluate goals: What, precisely, is the main goal? What do you want to achieve? Are you merely trying to make a symbolic statement or gesture, or do you wish to move your organization, in a much-needed direction? Create a set of priorities, consider realities, etc, and proceed forward, with the best action plan, in order to achieve what you seek!
3. Articulate and motivate: Are you willing to step forward, and let others know what, and why, you seek certain changes? How well will you articulate your vision, and will it be motivating and significant to others? Can you explain it in terms, where others believe it is possible?
4. Introduce your plan: Begin to gradually explain and introduce your plan. Do so in realistic, but somewhat simplified ways, so as to create a sense of urgency and enthusiasm! Don’t merely rip things apart, but be pragmatic in your approach, so your ideals and ideas, are considered seriously, etc.
5. Explain your approach: First allay the fears of others, that you will make changes which are either unwarranted, or undesirable! Explain your rationale, and how your approach will maintain the central core and mission of your organization, while achieving changes, for the better!
6. Thoroughly know costs, abilities, and what, if any compromises, might need to be made: Create your priorities, and differentiate between essential, necessary components of your plan, and those you would like to see, yet have lesser immediate impacts. Understand it is generally easier to get things done, once you begin the process, and most people prefer evolutionary, to revolutionary changes. Know your group and its abilities!
How much to you want to make a significant difference, as a leader? If you really want change, become the vehicle for it, by using pragmatic idealism!