What short-term vision do you have for your life and business, leading into the final months of 2020? Where do you see it going over the next three years?
There are no wrong answers to the questions, but you can expect some unwanted results if you don’t answer them! Our mastermind groups online are reading Michael Hyatt’s new book, “The Vision Driven Leader,” to sharpen our understanding of things that haven’t happened yet.
Author Morgan Snyder made a great observation about the future. He said, “We sow in the next decade what we reap in the current one.” It’s a simple way of saying that while we can’t control the future, we definitely participate in creating it with our actions every day.
Those actions can be positive or negative. There isn’t really a “neutral” gear on this. Time is a lot like money in this way. As my friend Dave Ramsey says, “Either you happen to your money, or your money happens to you.” So even though time marches on, you can either “happen” to your time, or it can happen to you. (Hint: you want to do the “happening”).
It gets my goose, as a Christian life coach, to see people of faith struggle through life, thinking of themselves as “victims."
If you take time to look closely at the way life “happens” to us, you discover that it’s not nearly as random as we think. We just live in a time and place where we’re left to our own devices to create vision. Because of this, sadly, many of us don’t even know we’re supposed to have one … which leaves the door open for chaos to take vision’s place.
Luckily, for the people of our online mastermind groups, Michael Hyatt hasn’t left anybody hanging. In “The Vision Driven Leader,” he does more than talk about a fancy idea. He gives you practical tools like the “Vision Grid,” to take your vision from “foggy” to“clear."
“Clear” is where any good business coach or mentor wants you to go. If you can’t find your way to a clear written vision, you definitely can’t find your way to fulfilling one in real life. In business, you’re going to need it as a compass to know when you’re operating according to plan or not.
Why Vision Needs to Be Concrete
If I said to you, “My vision is to increase sales,” you’d immediately have some follow-up questions, wouldn’t you?
I would. I’d want to know the percentage of increase, the niche we’re selling to, the not-so-obvious advantages of making more sales, and the deadline for the increase. Otherwise, I could meet that vision head-on in one day, by simply making one more sale than I did yesterday.
In the mastermind business, as I covered last week, simply adding members is one of the least inspiring goals you could have. Suppose they’re the wrong members, or they don’t fully understand what they’re signing up for? I don’t want new members of Iron Sharpens Iron just for the sake of having more mastermind groups.
Instead, we build our vision to impact generations of people who haven’t even been born yet. And “we,” meaning our team at View From The Top, don’t even do the work! It’s the members of our masterminds online who do that, for their own kids and grandkids. We just create the right set of conditions for them to do it well.
So let’s not make the mistake of watered-down vision, based on simple things everybody wants. I don’t need to ask you, “Do you want to earn more income?” Everybody wants that. But it’s helpful to ask, “How can you achieve it?” Especially if you’re struggling and can’t find the way forward.
How To Get Your Vision ON The Grid
I’m going to include Michael’s five steps to go from “foggy” to “clear.” But I recommend you get the book, “The Vision Driven Leader.” My representation might come out a little … foggy.
- Admit You’re Unclear
For you young people reading this, the best part about getting older is knowing you don’t have all the answers, and feeling free to admit it. If you’re in leadership, it’s the same thing - or at least, it should be. Learn the beauty of these three words: “I. Don’t. Know."
- Recognize Your Blinders
Are you ignorant? (Don’t answer that one.) Do you lack curiosity? Can you get overconfident? Do you have biases, where you assume “This is just the way things are done”? Do you lack respect for time, and “want everything done right away”, when some things take time? Are you afraid - concerned about appearing like you’re in control, and know what you’re doing?
These are the biggest “blinders” for leadership. You need to do a healthy personal inventory, like the DISC assessment, to learn your strengths and weaknesses.
- Ask For Input
Put your vision in front of anyone and everyone you trust who’s willing to give you honest feedback. Your spouse, your business coach, mentor, industry peers, your team. You know what I’m going to say here: join a mastermind group! Click here to join one of our groups for men or women.
- Process The Feedback
Don’t ask for people’s feedback so you can file it in a drawer somewhere. I understand some people won’t have much to say other than encouraging words, but you need to pay attention when someone asks a thoughtful question, or raises an objection. There will always be angles you can’t see and details you don’t know how to plan for.
- Get Started
Even if you don’t get it right the first time, inject action into your vision. Don’t sit there and endlessly think about it. If you keep coming up against “I don’t know,” invite others into the conversation to give you their perspective. Vision, like success, is a marathon that takes time. You need to set the process in motion, and keep it going once you do. Action does both.