How do you know if you're diluting your vision?
he first step is to get clear on what your vision for yourself, your business or organization, your life is.
Whatever that is.
What do you want to feel, do, achieve, or be?
Where do you want your organization or business to be at the end of the year? In a year from now? In 5 years from now?
Not watering it down because it feels overwhelming.
Not downsizing or downplaying it because it’s so big it’s uncomfortable.
Not playing small because it’s easier than digging deeper to do the work necessary to move you forward to a new level of leadership and closer to your vision for your organization or business.
With that being said, here are four statements to ask yourself, and if you answer “Yes” to any of them, then you are diluting your vision.
Whether you are new to your position or have been there for some time, there’s one activity you can do each day to make sure you are ready for the next opportunity.
This activity is applicable if you are an individual contributor or in some level of management.
It's one that may seem easy to do.
In fact, it may seem logical, yet it can be difficult to do on a daily, genuine, consistent basis.
Do you know what that is?
It's doing the best you can with the job you currently have.
This means putting your best foot forward to the assignment at hand or making sure you are prepared for the meetings you need to attend.
It means you aren't asking your boss every chance you get when you will move to the next level, but you are open to taking on new projects and opportunities if they present themselves.
It means you’re learning all you can for the responsibilities you currently have, so that you are able to do your job to the best of your ability.
It means you’re...
So let's talk about continual learning, and specifically when you've invested money or time or both to advance or strengthen your skills as a leader.
Perhaps it's a small investment relatively speaking like reading or listening to a book. Maybe it's a course or seminar you attended, or training your company has sent you to for the day. Or perhaps it's working with a coach or consultant. And even it didn't cost you money, it was your time spent there, including the time spent creating the space to go and getting caught up again (or close to it) once you returned.
When you first went through the course, the seminar, or even worked with your coach, you probably took some notes as a way to help you process what you're learning. Once the course, seminar or coaching sessions are finished, you have every intention of fully implementing what you've learned.
Then more time passes, and although you know you learned a lot, you might feel like you should have learned more or...
There is power in one.
One word may brighten someone else's day or tear it down.
One shift in attitude or perspective can completely change how a challenging situation is handled.
Focusing on the one person in front of you during a face to face or that one person on the other end of the phone for that one conversation and ignoring the distractions will communicate volumes of respect, appreciation, and engagement.
Focusing on the one step that needs to be done now versus the next 20 will minimize overwhelm and increase productivity.
There's power in one - take some time today to leverage that power to its fullest and feel the shifts that it will make in you as you lead.
As leaders, we need to get clear on what we want and why.
Then we need to speak up.
As a leader, it's your responsibility to set the vision and direction for your project, organization, or business. And although it may seem repetitive, asking and communicating often is necessary and so important. Sometimes you'll need to repeat yourself multiple times, in different styles to get things started and moving.
For some individuals, they only need a nudge to understand what's needed and support. For others, you may need to be a bit more direct.
If you have a question that will impact a decision you're making, be willing to ask and patiently listen for the answer. If you'd like periodic updates on a project, communicate your expectations and remind your teammates only as needed.
Once you're clear on your vision and your why, be willing to enthusiastically communicate it clearly, succinctly, and frequently. Your enthusiasm coupled with your ability to ensure your team, colleagues,...
As a leader, you are presented with new information each day.
This process of continually receiving and synthesizing information helps you to make informed decisions in order to support your team and achieve the company’s overall vision.
Sometimes it may feel like you have too much to work with and other times, it may feel like you don’t have enough.
To compound the waves of data, as the leader, you are viewed as having “all the information”, so it might feel like saying “I don’t know” is not appropriate.
The thing is that although it may seem like you are expected to know all of the answers, you won’t.
You are expected to know how to get the answers and be clear with what is happening on your team or project, even if that means you know you need to learn more.
So how to do work with the information that you have?
I suggest leveraging your curiosity by accepting that you won’t have all the answers, but that you will be open...
What are you in the business of? (HINT: it's probably not the thing you think it is by itself).
It sounds like a simple question, but it's important to know and understand this answer.
Let's start by saying it doesn't matter the industry or role you have within your company. It doesn’t matter if your leading hundreds or leading five – or even if you technically don’t have anyone who reports to you, but instead you’re over projects or you’re an individual contributor vs a VP of an organization.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in hospitality, healthcare, the military, manufacturing, the government, publishing, or fashion.
It matters that you see yourself as a leader because being a leader means that the real business you're in is the people business.
And when you’re taking care of people, they will take care of your processes, and...
It’s the start of another day and you’re thinking about what needs to happen to turn your vision into a reality.
You check out your plan and the specific tasks for today, and you get started.
You feel like you are making progress and after a while, you decide to take a break.
So, you check out the latest post from one of your favorite go-to resources or listen to a podcast that talks about the latest tips to do A, B and C so that your business or team will be able to do X, Y, and Z.
And they make it sound so easy, like it was nothing for them to figure out what was needed to discover some incredible results.
Or maybe you take a few minutes and scroll through your social media feed to find some inspiration. Yet what you notice are how many likes and shares or comments that post has.
And your recent post has none.
Maybe the first few distractions are welcomed and inspiring, and you are encouraged to keep going on your journey. But slowly they start to get to you.
When I think of curiosity – I’m looking at it as someone who likes to learn. Someone who actively wants to find out more because they want to grow.
Deepen their practice
Deepen their knowledge
Try something new
As a leader – being curious is a big part of trying out new ideas. You are curious about what will happen. If something doesn’t pan out well, you’re curious as to why and trying something else to see if that creates success.
The inspiration for this post came from an experience when I was traveling home from Boston.
On the first leg of the return flight, I had a wonderful quick chat with a flight attendant. What stood out with this trip was how he engaged with those in first class. He specifically greeted each of them by name, then asked what they wanted to drink.
As I observed from my seat, it didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary, until I heard what he said. The fact that he...
Today’s chat was inspired by one of my all time favorite books – The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David J. Schwartz.
So my parents gave me this copy when I was in high school, and I’ve re-read it many many times since. It’s about a growth mindset. Having a mindset that says I can figure it out or I am more than capable.
If you haven’t read this book, I hope you’ll check it out, but in the mean time – are you thinking big enough?
Meaning – are you brainstorming and whole heartedly pursuing goals that are exciting, audacious, meaningful and scary at the same time?
Do they push you out of your comfort zone?
Another way to think big is to day dream. What would just be amazing for you if it happened?
Don’t just keep these ideas in your head – write them down.
Take out a piece of paper and for 15 minutes, just brain dump everything that comes to your mind of what would be amazing to accomplish, do, have, or experience.
Showing up as the confident business leader you're meant to be is a transformation that starts on the inside, and the first step is shifting your mindset. Enroll in the free Leverage Your Potential mini course and start recognizing the leader within you today as well as receive weekly tips and encouragement to keep you going.