I am not sure if it is cynicism or wisdom, but as each year goes by, I am less about the New Year resolution hype and more about value-driven goals. I haven’t done New Year resolutions for at least a decade but spend time at the end and beginning of each year doing a process where I stop and take the time to acknowledge my successes and disappointments, and then seek out what I have learned from those experiences. I notice where I limit myself and create some guidelines to stop me from repeating history and then check in with my values and see if the roles I have gathered during the year align with them and are still relevant and worthy of my time and energy. I then rate each area of my life and set value-driven goals around those. It is a thorough and thoughtful process from the book Your best year yet by Jinny Ditzler. Highly recommend getting that book to add your bookcase. This process helps me set the course for the year. From it I get a clear vision of what I want to achieve this year and align it to where I see myself in the future and what I am working to.
From a business perspective as I look at each of the landscapes my clients are facing currently, I sense that it is going to be an interesting year and I am watching people mostly step in tentatively. One of the things I am noticing is that because of all the uncertainty over the last few years, some leaders are nervous to be too focused on setting a vision, what if it all turns on its head again? And there are others who are relentless in their pursuit of their vision, and maybe some adjustments must be made.
One of my clients had a rough year last year, but because their vision is so clear I watched how they as an organisation were able to move through some really tough decisions with clarity and the understanding of their people. Vision matters!
The good book says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish….” there is a lot more to it, but without vision people cast off restraint, and there is a lack of wisdom and direction and that leads to disconnection from each other and the purpose of the business.
What do I mean by a vision?
It is seeing into the future with hope and pulling it into the present and more importantly it’s about aligning our actions to make that vision a reality and it is about inviting your team to join you in the journey. It is about taking the dream of what could be and casting a vision that ignites the hearts and minds of your people for a future that they see themselves in.
And I think we need it more than ever right now. I believe now is the time to set or reset your vision for your team. We have just had the most disruptive few years of our lives. So much of what was normal four years ago has completely changed, we even have new words we never had in our vocabulary before. A lot of people are feeling lost and disconnected.
If we don’t take the time to think at least what the next four years looks like for our businesses, we are just drifting. Drifting kills engagement and confidence, it leaves you without momentum and control. Drifting implies you are going where the tide is taking you rather than where you want to go.
Here are five things a clear, vivid vision can do for you….
1. A vision sets the direction.
Without a vision, nobody knows where they are going. A lack of direction leaves people uncertain, uncertainty cause confusion and confusion undermines great culture and causes frustration and fear.
2. A vision provides a place for people to contribute.
When a vision is shared people start to see themselves in it, it captures their hearts and minds, and they see where they can add their value, talent or skills. It increases engagement and makes people feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves. We all love to be on the winning team, or on a team that is doing great things. Sharing the vision in as much detail as possible helps people see where they fit in.
3. A vision helps us stay the course when trouble comes.
When the pawpaw hits the fan, vision helps us see our way to the other side of the mess. It cuts through the noise and keeps everyone focused on what is most important.
4. A vision pulls people together.
Visions give everyone a common goal or cause and if it is a big enough everyone understands that it can only be achieved if everyone pulls together, it doesn’t leave space for egos and individual success. When everyone pulls together there is a sense of connection because we realise we need one another and we become much better at learning each others strengths rather than pulling each other down.
5. A vision gives us a finish line.
A vision is what done looks like. If we don’t have a vision of what it looks like when we succeed how do we know we have got there. And that is why I like to do three year vivid visions with my clients because once we get there we all know we want to go further. Three years is long enough to achieve something great and short enough that there is some urgency to get moving.
If you need help with looking at your personal vision or your company vision I would be honoured to work with you around this. My process is a little different and it doesn’t involve being in a stuffy boardroom, give me a shout.