Why do you get up in the morning? What motivates you to show up for work? What do you love most about leading your business and your people? When was the last time you felt joy in your work?
When I ask executives these questions, it is not uncommon for them to struggle answering. I understand. People are stretched. Work blends into all aspects of client’s lives. At times, the cup feels closer to empty than full. So seeing beyond the daily demands can be challenging. And vision is more difficult to create when you or your business are not at your best. It is also twice as necessary.
Last year I had a client say to me, “I wish I would have a heart attack or something so I could take a real break.” After a long pause, I said, “What about taking a real break before you have a heart attack?” She looked at me like I was crazy. In that moment, her vision for her work and team was not on her list. From my standpoint the circumstances made it even more of a priority because both she and her team needed a clearer vision to light the path forward.
You have to have a vision to grow and sustain anything worthwhile.
Consider that if you aren’t sure why you continue to show up for your leadership or executive position, with all its perks, imagine the way the people that report to you feel? It is your job to be a part of creating the vision for your organization, to live it and share it. Often when I talk with clients about vision they give me a look that says, “I don’t have time for this fluff right now.” The truth is vision makes your strategy and all the creative and hard work that needs to be done possible! It is a requirement, not a luxury.
So what do I mean when I talk about vision? Vision is a shared mental picture and statement about the hopes and dreams for your work, team or organization.
A vision statement must be:
And preferably it nurtures your spirit, your team and your organization. That is a big expectation. It is also extremely necessary. It takes reflection, time and rich dialogue to create. It requires standing outside of yourself and your own powerful self-interests (I am thinking of both corporations and leaders). But without it your business or growth is not sustainable, and you are less likely to be a place to which really talented, healthy people want to show up everyday. Maybe, including you.
Welcome to Moira's blog. I write a (mostly) monthly post about the work of building better work places: people strategies, systems, teams and leaders.