View from the Summit

Are You a Leader Or a Manager? How Leaders Use Vision to Bring Clarity to Uncertainty

Posted by Aaron Walker and the VFTT Team on Oct 9, 2020 7:49:55 AM


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Have you ever wondered why some people function so well in management or regular jobs, while others are restless and become entrepreneurs?


You can imagine my level of interest in working a job, or being a manager. There’s nothing wrong with either one. Nothing would get done, if we were all visionary leaders. But nothing would get done right, if none of us were, either.


If you know my story, you know I never gave “getting a job” a second thought. I went straight into business as early as I could. Looking back, I can tell you one reason I did it. I saw something other people didn’t, and couldn’t rest until I made it a reality.


Now I’ll admit, my vision at age 19 was a little distorted. I’d come from a family that never had much money, and I resolved that I didn’t want to live like that for the rest of my life. So, there was a maturing process my vision had to go through.


I think God probably agreed with that, except He had something even better in mind. Not only would I reach a point where I didn’t “need the money.” I ended up reaching it three times before the age of fifty. And every time I did, I found that it still didn’t satisfy me by itself.


Moving into the mastermind business changed that. It gave me fresh eyes on life, including the concept of vision. In 2015, one of my mastermind groups challenged me to “Come As You Will Be in 2020,” and that’s where I finally found the missing piece of the puzzle.


The more I worked on vision, the more I understood why I’d been so restless and “unemployable” all those years. I couldn’t always see the reality I wanted … but I knew enough to identify the one I didn’t want. That was enough back then to butter my biscuit.


Leaders always bring some degree of certainty and clarity against confusion. They’re good at finding vision and sticking to it for the long haul. They surround themselves with people who hold them accountable, like business masterminds.


Reasons to Pursue Vision Like a Bloodhound?


Our mastermind groups online are digging into Michael Hyatt’s newest book, “The Vision Driven Leader,” for October. This book is loaded with wisdom about the power of vision, especially from Michael’s own experience launching his first company in the 1980s.


The venture started off successfully. Along with his business partner, Robert Wolgemuth, Michael’s publishing company signed Orel Hersheiser, the former major league pitcher, to a book deal. They grew quickly … but without knowing where they were headed.


So far, so good … except that they didn’t have a coach or mentor reminding them to look ahead. It was the same way I handled the growth of my business at the time - we were content to simply make more and more money. It turned out, that wasn’t enough.


“If the vision’s compelling enough, people will apply their best thinking and efforts to figure it out, regardless of the obstacles and opposition,” Michael wrote. Now, you might read that and focus on his employees as “the people who apply their best thinking.” Think again.


When Michael and Robert reached the “saturation point” of what they could manage between themselves, they made a logical decision very common in those days: “More is better.” So they signed with a bigger fish, Word Publishing, to add sales staff and distribution for their books.


The deal went through, and they received several big advances … but the sales never followed. While Michael doesn’t detail it much, can you guess how this ties back to the quote about people using their best thinking and effort.


If you said, “Michael and Robert didn’t use their best thinking and effort, and ended up in a partnership with another group that didn’t use theirs either,” you are correct. That’s what happens when there’s no vision - mediocre thinking and effort sets in.


Don’t surround yourself with mediocre thinkers. Join one of our mastermind groups today.


How to Think About Vision


Vision is a simple thing we make into a complicated one. If you can relate to being concerned about things in the present, as well as how things are going to look in the future, you're thinking about vision.


But it’s not as simple as noticing everything wrong with the present, and assuming it will get worse in the future. We need more positive things to think about, like opportunities we can create for the future, if we can change how we think in the present.


However, there’s another twist: while we have no problem concentrating for hours on the negative, we are easily put off the scent of the positive.


The enemy of our times, when it comes to thinking about vision, is distraction. (1)


The enemy of our times, when it comes to thinking about vision, is distraction. If you can’t stay focused long enough to see a bright future, you’ll “default” to seeing a dark one. From the vantage point of a Christian life coach, you can take that one to the bank. Negativity is natural.


So, here are the first three steps Michael advises for building your vision.


1. Get away and clear your head


After I read this, I remembered something Tom Schwab and I used to do back when we were building businesses together. I hadn’t done it in a while, but as soon as it came back, I wasted no time. You have to get away from your normal surroundings, so you can focus.


Normal “good” things we do every day can be distracting. The dog needs walking, the baby needs changing, the office needs straightening up. Tom and I used to get so much done when we’d hide out in Chicago to build and cast our company vision! I brought that tradition back immediately.


2. Believe the best is yet to come.


Hey, I know it’s 2020 and we have a presidential election just one month away. But I’ll tell you, I’ve survived so many “doomsday” warnings from the media and politicians, I should have died about seven times now.


Particularly to my fellow Christian entrepreneurs, we have nowhere to go but up! Let’s keep some optimism, even though we’re living through some difficult times. Society will still look to us to provide leadership while all this comes and goes.


3. Imagine tomorrow and describe what you see.


This is the moment true visionaries reach, where they lock eyes on something that hasn’t happened yet. If you can get to this moment, and write it down, there’s a Scripture that says it’s for an appointed time. When that time is right, nothing will be able to stop it!


The only thing I’d add to this is accountability. This would be a good time to get involved with masterminds online.  If you’re looking for a solid group of allies you can build around you for the journey, consider joining one of our online mastermind groups. Go right now and apply using our website.


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