Recently I attended a lecture on Leadership, where the focus was on casting and implementing a vision – not just for your company, but for your life and career, as well. Did we really choose the right course of action? Let's see!
Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.Warren Bennis
There was lots of discussion about where the vision comes from (typically out of some burden that you feel) and how you go about the process of striving to make the vision come to fruition, through goal-setting and so forth.
The comment that struck me the most was that a vision is completed by asking the right questions. The only way to ensure that your vision is achieved is to closely monitor and evaluate the process, through asking appropriate questions along the way.
Some examples of these types of questions could be:
Did I make the correct decision regarding that particular problem?
Did we really choose the right course of action?
Did we truly follow the plan, or did we just tell ourselves that we were following it?
When that particular (good or bad) situation arose, did I respond correctly?
This got me to thinking… As we approach the end of another year, a time when we tend to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the next 12, do we really ask ourselves any kind of evaluative questions like this to check our progress? Or, do we just look back at the results and “wish” that they were better? The type of self-reflection required to do this can undoubtedly appear somewhat threatening. No one likes to look back and rehash things – particularly if they didn’t go well. The reality is though, if we don’t take the time to honestly evaluate what we’ve done and subsequently alter course accordingly, how can we expect the future to really be any different than the past?
Of course, the questions that need to be asked will be very different, depending on whether you are evaluating your personal vision or that of your organization. And there is also the underlying assumption here that such a vision even exists in your life and/or business. (If that’s not the case, I would remind you of the famous Proverb “Without a vision, the people perish.”)
So my question for you is this… What are the questions you will ask yourself when you look back on these previous 12 months? Your answers can pertain to either your business or your personal vision. Please share some of your questions in the comment area below. Others will benefit from seeing “real world” examples of what this looks like in practice. Thank you in advance for participating in this little exercise.
~ Bud Sanders