Most everyone in business knows the importance of having a vision. I have never led a strategic planning session that did not include creating a common Vision for the company, organization, or team. It answers the question ‘where are we going?’ – and plants the flag for everyone to see, embrace, and pursue. So, why is it that we often ‘lose the plot’ after we begin the journey? What can we do to insure we stay focused in our direction and where we ultimately want to go?
Three thoughts as it pertains to the concept of Visioning:
- Our Vision will pull us forward – individually and collectively. Our vision, by definition, is something which we do not have – in total – when we begin. We only ‘know what we know’ in the current state; our vision is set into the future. It is a where we want to be. This could be weight loss – our vision is to be a ‘Size 4′ or ’20 lbs lighter’. This could be ‘financially independent by a certain age’. This could be ‘#1’ in our respective market. It is well defined and non-ambiguous. If we already have it – it is not a Vision. The vision needs to PULL us FORWARD.
- We must be Aligned to our vision. Many time we may wonder why we are not ‘getting there’. From my experience, alignment is a key factor in getting where we want to go. Take the simple example of wanting to lose ‘x’ amount of weight. This means we need to ‘align’ our life, choices, and trade-offs to support that ‘end game’ destination. This could include setting aside time each day for a workout, or giving up carbs, white flour, and sugar, or saying ‘no’ to the invitations which tempt our willpower when eating out. This obedience and alignment to our vision is often where we go off track. One question for those of us who face that challenge: ‘how badly do you want it?’. This is where the rubber meets the road….if we really want it – what will we give up, trade off, or simply do to get there?
- Clarity is king. I cannot begin to tell you how many people have ‘poo pooed’ certain aspirations or visionary goals I have had in my life. They may not come right out and say ‘that is crazy’, yet they will try to change my story to agree with their story. ‘I don’t understand why you are doing things that way when everyone else is going it this way‘ or ‘Hmmm, that is strange, Kristin, why would you even consider doing that’. This is key, folks: never judge or question your clarity on how other people respond. Now, I am not dismissing the opinions and suggestions from those we trust and respect; however, I am saying that if you really want something – go for it. Keep your eyes clearly focused on the prize.
Our visions do not have to simply be dreams. They can indeed be ‘where we want to be’ at some point in the future AND we can get there through discipline, obedience to our plan, and keeping clear within our hearts, souls, and minds to where we are going. What do you think? What tips do you have on how to stay true to our ultimate ‘end game’?