What do you see when effective leadership happens? I’m willing to bet you see DAC: Direction, Alignment and Commitment. On my second installment of videos from the Eiffel Tower, I thought about this as I took in Paris from the tower’s (windy) second story back in February. Undoubtedly, it took a large amount of work and effort from many people. So what sort of vision was needed to build such a tower? Did each person know what was expected of him or her? Was it a goal to have people like me have an awe-inspiring, breathtaking, unforgettably awesome view of Paris? And was that goal powerful enough to keep people motivated?

To be an effective leader, particularly for those who are stepping up into management for the first time in your life, you need a clear vision of what it is going to take to attain success in whatever goal you are trying to accomplish. You need to set a vision that everyone can understand. You need to clearly articulate your vision, and make sure other people understand it, adopt it, and will do everything possible to attain it. To do that, you need to make every effort to make leadership happen–to make DAC happen:

  • Direction – where are we going, and what are we striving to attain? Lay out a picture, and make sure everyone can clearly say beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt what that picture or end-goal is. You need to set the vision in a way that everyone can understand.
  • Alignment – how are we all able to go in that set direction? Lay out each person’s role and responsibility and how those are integral to the team’s success.
  • Commitment – how are all of us engaged enough in our work, to be dedicated and devoted in going in that direction? Foster each person’s passion, care for one another, and reinforce how each person’s work matters.

You don’t need to go to the Eiffel Tower to think about DAC (although, it doesn’t hurt). Think about the best leader you have ever worked alongside, and how that person made DAC happen. Now, think about how you can make DAC happen in your own job, with the people you lead.

Please share your thoughts on how you can apply this principle to your own work.

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