Sight but no Vision

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

Helen Keller

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It has always amazed me that so many managers today proudly spend most of their time with their “shoulder to the wheel”, “nose to the grindstone”, “head down and sleeves rolled up”… well, you get the picture.  These managers are so busy checking boxes, reading reports, sitting on conference calls and making sure their team hits this week’s numbers that they either never develop a vision or lose sight of the vision for success.  In the picture above, these managers see only the road closed sign not the mountain peaks (ultimate goal) in the background.  If all you see is the next step, you and your team will constantly get blocked by obstacles, lose track of the prize and wander aimlessly ultimately falling short of goals.

Leaders, on the other hand, distinguish themselves as people who can not only rise above the fray of everyday activity but can keep themselves and their team focused on the vision.  They have established the purpose of why the team is doing what it is doing.  These leaders communicate why the every day tasks are important as steps on a journey instead of spending countless hours analyzing how each team member takes the next step on the journey.  By doing this, it is like a sea-captain of a ship, the crew looks to the captain to guide them, reassure them and give them hope.  The crew should be good enough to sail through the next wave.  It is the captain that keeps them on the right course.  The more times the leader has success with his/her team, the more confidence builds within the team.  Greater achievements can then be made because the team is comfortable with themselves, individually, and as a unit and trusts the leader’s judgement.

It all starts with a vision, being able to communicate the vision and then remaining focused on the vision.  If you looked at the picture above and noticed just the Road Closed sign, you may need to look again.  You are just focusing on obstacles.  A great leader will look at that picture and visualize standing on top of that mountain range.  A great leader will imagine what it will feel like to stand there, be able to see for miles and feel the sense of accomplishments.  A great leader will notice the sign but then quickly say, “We are going there.  Follow me. Together, we will find a way!”

May your visions be filled with purpose, passion and promise.  I know you can do it!

Peace be with you, my friends.

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