Many leaders float through life, coming and going with the tides of circumstance. Time gets away on them, and soon they realize they aren’t in a role that inspires them, and their career has been based on logical and comfortable progression rather than intentional drive and passion. These leaders lead from a place of unconsciousness; having a wishy-washy impact on results and on the people they’re leading. This is leading without purpose.
Sometimes financial need dictates our direction. Other times convenience stands in our way. And more often than not… even when we choose to plead ignorance… we get in our own way of really, truly declaring and going after our dreams.
It takes courage to take a stand for what you want, and sometimes it’s just easier to ride the current rather than dig in and paddle. I know. I’ve been there, and will probably be there again… and again.
So rather than fall prey to circumstantial drift, how about giving yourself some good anchoring? Sit back, take a time-out-of-time and reflect on these questions:
- What gets you excited in life and in work?
- What untapped potential have you been shying away from?
- As a leader, what do you want people to be saying about your character 5 years from now, 10 years from now?
- What’s keeping you where you are?
- What risks are you willing to take to get what you want and be even happier than you are now?
- What first step are you willing to take tomorrow to move you closer to your dreams?
A vision is an anchor point. A place from which directed action occurs. It’s an internal compass – helping to guide decisions and ideas. It gives purpose and meaning to our work and leadership.
My litmus test for a vision (personal or corporate) is whether or not you can answer positively to these three questions (The 3 Cs):
- Is it clear? Can you say, without a doubt, where you’re heading?
- Is it concise? Can you remember it? Does it make sense?
- Is it compelling? Does it guide your decisions and actions? Does it “grab” you and inspire you?
While these questions may seem a tad fluff, I can tell you that the clearer you are in the difference you want to make the more likely you are to make it. And from a leadership perspective, when you lead with intention, courage and clarity, people are more likely to want to be around you.
Bring some discipline of thought and passion to your own leadership. I dare you to lead with purpose… You may be surprised at what you come up with.