So you have a vision for something. You see something that others don't. Part of you is excited about it, and the rest of you is petrified as to how to make it happen. Congratulations, you are normal. You are staring risk in the face, and asking yourself if you want to take it on. If you do, and it's a huge win, you look like a generational hero. But...it's never that simple, is it? Most of the time walking out a new vision comes with bumps, bruises, failures and setbacks along the way. Not that they always knock you out of the game, but they generally don't feel great.
So why in the world, knowing all of that,
does this vision still consume your every thought?
Let me encourage you today as you wrestle with that. (I can't answer it in a one-liner, and no one else should try to do that for you either. I'm just glad you are feeling the itch to make a difference in the world)
New paths blazed don't come with paved roads, stop signs and traffic lights. So when you feel like you are bushwhacking with a flashlight in a jungle in the middle of nowhere, take heart. It's a path no one has taken before...but the work you are doing may open it to countless people behind you that desperately need to travel on it.
Going first brings more briars and prickers across your skin, so that it won't for others. Leading the way inspires others to do the same for their teams. It stirs the heart of people who want to be there for you on the journey. It builds healthy culture. It makes a difference.
So as you move forward today,
don't judge progress by setbacks...rather focused bushwhacks.
One step at a time. One day at a time. Keep moving in the direction of your vision.
The clearing is just ahead.
I read an article earlier today that sparked a thought.
Here is a link to the article (http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/243349), and a quote from it that speaks volumes. I'd encourage you to read the article, and then come back to read the rest of this blog post. The combination of the two will help you assess where you are now, and if you need to do something about it so that you can make the progress you are longing for.
"Even with a solid business model, most people will not trust you with their money if your website is a mess or your documentation is outdated. Professional PR creates a coherent, consistent image that will turn your business from a name to a brand."
And if you still aren't convinced...
That may seem harsh...but the sooner you "CONFRONT THE BRUTAL FACTS"...as Jim Collins notes in his book "Good To Great" (you need to read that if you haven't already)...the sooner you can get on to doing what you need to do, so that you can be who you are called to be as an organization.
Simply put, it's
WHO you are and WHY you exist
as an organization. (In business, education, ministry, family, etc...)
You exist to _______________________, so that _______________________.
You exist to (do something specific), so that (a specific thing happens as a result).
When you can articulate who you are, what makes you tick, what breaks your heart, what keeps you up at night, what you'd do if you could spend all day doing it...you are getting close to your vision.
The key word there is articulate.
Yes, it's important.
If you can't be clear, you'll never be able to explain it to anyone else.
You can't give clear directions
where there aren't specific boundaries.
That is what a clearly articulated vision does for you and your organization.
It's the starting, middle and end point of your conversations, meetings, brainstorming, etc...
It keeps you on track.
It's your filter.
We exist to help you discover WHO you are, so that you will know WHAT to do.
That is what drives us at WHOBIX.
That is our vision.
It's clear. It's concise. It's our filter.
Notice we aren't calling it a "vision statement". Unfortunately that term comes with some serious baggage. It makes us think of some paragraph of general drivel with big words. Boiled down, I think we'd be hard-pressed to find a single person in any organization that could repeat, much less explain one of those from memory.
When you get who you are and why you exist into a single sentence, something cool happens.
It gets you past incoherent babbling, and into intelligent conversation.
It enables you to cast your vision to me.
It empowers your team to do the same with others.
It gets me, as the listener, excited to hear more about you.
It allows your team to process opportunities more effectively because it keeps you on point.
It helps you avoid getting distracted by something that looks cool, but ultimately isn't who you are.
Do you see where all of that is going?
Having a clearly articulated vision will keep your team focused.
Having a clearly articulated vision will help you lead with confidence.
Having a clearly articulated vision will launch your team into it's calling.
Having a clearly articulated vision will attract others to join you on the journey.
Who are you?
Why do you exist?
Start brainstorming thoughts, words, phrases.
It will take some time, but the most beautiful, simple, articulate, and meaningful things always do.
Put this on your whiteboard.
Pin it on your corkboard.
Place this on your bathroom mirror.
We exist to ______________________________, so that ___________________________________.
I can't wait to hear your vision.
I get excited when other people find theirs.
And if you get stuck, send us a note.
Maybe we can help you discover yours.
Be careful what you give weight to.
It'll crush you eventually, or propel you forward exponentially.
So how do you know the difference between the two?
Sometimes, it's obvious.
Other times, the line seems blurred at best, and unrecognizable at worst.
Here's a simple way to look at it...
There is a stark difference between FEEDBACK and PUSHBACK.
FEEDBACK is constructive and based on the vision of your organization.
PUSHBACK is destructive and based on the opinion of one person.
The next time someone stops you in the hallway, speaks up at a meeting, sends you an email, text, etc...filter absolutely every thing they say about why something isn't working/needs to change through the vision of your organization. (If you don't have one, come back tomorrow...they'll be a blog on what it is, and how to craft one).
If you hear someone speaking about change they'd like to see, filter it or forget it.
Base every single decision on who you are and why you exist.
Make sure it aligns with what you believe.
Be certain how you do what you do is based on forward motion, not old habits.
Giving weight to it just because it's spoken isn't helpful.
Acting on it because you are afraid of a reaction to it if you don't isn't helpful.
Like I said at the beginning...
Be careful what you give weight to.
It might feel good up front to look good in the eyes of the criticizer.
In the end though, there's a good chance you'll be following each other out the door.
Worse yet, they'll still be there, and you'll find yourself holding the bag.
Other people's personal opinions should never trump your organization's vision.
If you still get bit, because you held firm to that last statement?
Congrats. You did well, kid.
You have too much to offer your team to allow decisions and changes to be based on personal opinions, mood swings and politics.
And if no matter what you do, no one else see's the value in this, maybe it's time to start looking for a place where everyone does.
A place where everyone is in it together, behind a solid vision.
And if you can't find one?
Maybe it's time to start one.
(Remember to come back tomorrow. Yes, I know it's Saturday. I also know it's too important to wait until the weekend is over. Something tells me you already know that too, and can't wait to dig in. Proud of you for that. See you tomorrow.)
Both tossed aside quite often, but why?
Think about the end of a typical day.
You empty your pockets.
A few coins are placed in a jar, a dish...or land on the dresser.
No big deal.
But at some point, it dawns on you that what used to be nominal has become rather noticeable.
Change is piling up.
You've got something of value.
You've got something to cash in.
You've got some serious currency.
You've got the ability to turn your spare change
into life change for others.
And it's no different with cultural change.
It starts with the intentional decision to "make a deposit" daily into building healthy relationships. Whether it's in the workplace, at home or in the community. At first it doesn't seem like much, but eventually it will create the end result you've wanted all along.
Take the time to make a positive emotional deposit into the lives of the people closest to you.
And start looking at cultural change as essential change.
When you leverage spare change you will bring life change.
When you leverage cultural change you will bring life change.
Pair those two and you'll be surprised at what you and the people closest to you will accomplish.
Have a great day...
I hope it's full of all sorts of beautiful change.
From your pocket.
From your head.
From your heart.
For the rest of the world.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.