Do You Know Where You Are Going?
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

Last week’s post was titled, Don’t Leave Home Without It, and at the beginning of that post I shared this sentence, “The coming months will be filled with great uncertainty and will require more leadership than perhaps at any time in recent memory.” My key point last week was Empathy. Today I want to address the second key point: Vision. In uncertain times we need clarity of vision; not mission, not strategic planning, but vision. Please let me explain. Mission is what we do, who we serve, or how we serve them. Strategic planning is the structured plan behind how we achieve our mission. Vision is the next level up and gives our team or organization direction by focusing on tomorrow and what we want to become as an organization.

You don’t need a lighthouse as much when the sun is shining and the winds are calm. You need it the most when it’s dark, the wind is howling, and the waves seem like more than you can handle. When the winds and waves of uncertainty beat against our organizational ship, it is easy to be blown off course. It is in these times that a vision of who we are, why we exist, and what impact we want to have on the greater good is so critical. During these storms, our mission and strategic plans can become useless, or perhaps even obstacles to our team’s forward progress. Obstacles because what we do and how we do it may not apply to current realities. However, there may be new opportunities that we can pursue that were completely off our radar before the storm.

As leaders, we need to communicate the vision continually because vision leaks. Let me use my lighthouse example. When the storm is raging, and the crew is rowing as hard as they can, they are worried, stressed, and don’t take the time to stop and look for the lighthouse. They need the leader to point them to the lighthouse and continually remind them that it is there and beyond the lighthouse is a safe harbor. Our teams are rowing very hard right now. Our families are rowing very hard right now and, as leaders, we need to have a laser focus on the vision.

Can you see the lighthouse? Does your organization or family have a vision for tomorrow? If you would like to learn more about this critical topic, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 166 of The Next Page podcast as we look into how we find the vision and communicate our vision, so it keeps lighting the path forward.

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