Monthly Archives: February 2012

How’s Your Vision?

I’m thinking about vision today because I’ve just rediscovered Leading People: the 8 proven principles for success in business.

Rosen’s eight principles: Vision, Trust, Participation, Learning, Diversity, Integrity and Community are a great basis for leadership excellence. As the workplace becomes increasingly complex, the economy remains uncertain, workloads increase and stress levels rise, these are important principles.

These are also important principles for coaches and as I revisit them I wonder how I can continue to incorporate them in my coaching work with executive managers and how I can interpret them through the lens of the nine *IAC Masteries®. That will be a challenge over the next few weeks – one that I will be sharing here and at Expanding Your Comfort Zone. So, here goes ….

Leadership – at work or in your own life – can be daunting at best. I don’t see how it’s possible at all without a clear vision. A favorite quote is

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re liable to end up somewhere else.

This seems true in all aspects of life, and especially in leadership. How can you move others forward – help them achieve their best – if you don’t have a clear picture of the end-point? How can you hope to achieve your personal goals if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want?

In one of the best strategic moves I’ve seen, a large non-profit took almost a year to work on their vision statement. Every department was asked to submit vision statements. A group worked with all the statements to create a single statement that reflected what was most important: (We are) a kaleidoscope: reframing relationships, embracing change, creating opportunities.

At an agency-wide kick-off, each staff member was given a kaleidoscope. Then the real work began.  Every unit went back and created their own personal version of the vision. These were posted alongside the Agency vision at every location. For these people, there was no guessing about the vision, the overall direction. One had only to look at the wall. Every day, planning could start with that vision. Every leader and every staff member could start their day asking, “How will I live our vision today?”

Almost every personal development source begins with creating a vision. It’s a constant theme in Mike Dooley’s work. In Manifesting Matisse, Dr. Michelle Nielsen suggests creating small vision boards that can be taped up all over the house or office so that you can always see your vision. This makes it very easy to think of what steps you might be taking in any moment to move i the right direction. (Don’t leave the ACTION out of the Law of AttrACTION!)

As coaches, that same question might inform our preparation for every client meeting. What’s my vision? How will that inform the way I work today? How will it help me help my clients achieve their vision? It’s just one of the many ways we can bring the Masteries® to life.

*Learn more about the Masteries® at the International Association of Coaching site.