• Alex Cary

Leading with Vision

With 2021 underway, and having just facilitated a leadership workshop on Vision, below are a few key factors to successfully realize your goals, initiatives and overall vision,

Start Where You Are

"A journey of 1,000 steps begins beneath our feet." -- Laozi

As the words by Laozi remind us, all things begins right here, right now, under our own feet.

I recently had a client receive an email from his boss that read, "enclosed are several growth goals that I'd like you to consider and prepare to cascade down the org. Let me know if you have questions." I think there's much to to unpack here -- first and foremost would be to slow things down -- in service to identifying a more primary question. Rather than taking his bosses lead and running with it, he took time to think. What was his internal leadership telling him? Where does he see growth opportunity for himself? How and in what way does he want to grow his team, individually and as a whole?

I'm not saying there is anything inherently wrong with identifying potential growth areas for the people we're responsible to grow -- however this approach misses something fundamental to leading with vision.

  • Vision = Growth. And growth is an inside out game -- it begins from within each of us individually through insight, understanding and internally driven desire.

  • Our Vision is best served by acting more like an invitation to others, rather than a mandate.

  • Lastly, clarifying and harnessing a vision takes time, it's an iterative process by nature.

This holds true whether we're contemplating our own growth or our teams. Shooting someone an email, is like dropping off a precious package at someone's doorstep (FedEX style). This won't allow for what inherently needs to occur; time and curiosity -- from all parties involved. Furthermore, before we haul off and set sail, we need to know what's working and not working. While clarifying Point B is imperative, we won't make actual progress without a clear understanding of where we are. I coach my clients in slowing down and asking,

  • What are the 3 behaviors / processes / systems that are working (for me, for us) right now?

  • What are 3 behaviors / processes / systems that are not working (for me, for us) right now?

  • What's 1 "way of doing business" that's draining my energy, our energy? What's 1 way of doing business that gives me (us) lift?

Way of doing business points to our individual or collective communication styles, levels of honesty, trust, engagement, even the meaning we derive from the work we do.

These questions become contemplative in nature, and a true inquiry. From here we can more easily and clearly determine where to from here.