Several times over the past two weeks, I have facilitated sessions where we asked people to ponder their personal vision as a leader. This is something we do on a regular basis within most of our leadership development sessions. But what struck me this time, was the response to a question I had never asked before.
I asked the group to raise their hand if the last 30 minutes was the first 30 minutes any of them had spent creating a personal vision for their role as a leader. Every hand went up. The next week when facilitating a similar session with a different group of people, I asked the question and again, every hand went up.
Why is it that many leaders have countless hours of crafting a company vision but little to no crafting their personal vision for their role as a leader?
I think that this exercise is critical to being clear on your personal why. What drives you? Why do you do what you do? What impact do you intentionally want to make? All of these are important questions and if you don’t dedicate time to them, you won’t gain the clarity necessary to have the conviction required to live an on-purpose life.
Boiled down, my personal vision is “To make an impact on the world one relationship at a time.” For me this implies that the world needs impacted, it implies that I am going to do it beyond the borders of immediate touch or influence, and it implies that impact or change doesn’t happen in large-scale movements, it happens in the context of relationships. This is meaningful to me, and there are subsets of values and actions that I must live to in order to make an impact on the world.
Steve Jobs said he wanted to put a “Ding in the universe.” Richard Branson’s personal mission is “To have fun in my journey through life and learn from my mistakes.” My good friend Adam Carroll is on a mission to help himself and others “Build a bigger life, not a bigger lifestyle.” Your personal vision should speak to your mission in life and why you get up and battle each day.
Don’t copy mine and don’t use these others as the answer key. Make your vision – your vision. Perhaps answering the following questions will help you find your vision. I’d love to hear your vision. Send it to me by email, respond to this post or tell me in person when we connect. Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no vision, the people will perish.”
Don’t perish, Lead Well, Lead Often and LEAD STRONG.
Questions to consider when crafting your vision:
- What is my role in my organization?
- What do I do that is special, unique or important?
- If I were not in this organization, what impact would that have?
- What are the actions, characteristics and behaviors I want to be known for?
- In 10 years, what do I want people to say about the impact I have made on my organization and on them personally?
- What is my highest point of contribution to the organization (if you only did 2 or 3 things that made the greatest impact, what are these things)?