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Visioning the Future

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“There are two critical things a leader does; provide a future vision and inspires and develops others join in the quest!”

For over 30 years, I have been wrestling with the questions of “what is leadership?” and “what do leaders do”.  I have gone back and forth on the answers during my journey.  The definition of leadership will be addressed in future conversations.  However, what leaders do, has greatly influenced the #leadershipflow methodology. As with the concept of Self-Mastery, the idea of Visioning the Future came through hundreds of conversations that I had with leaders as a coach.

In many conversations with leaders I coach, I asked them what they wanted to create.  The answer was typically one of two things.  The first, and often most clear, was they did not want to create.  They did not want poor performance, conflict, missing deadlines, all of the typical frustrations leaders face.  They had difficulty articulating what the opposite of what they had.  Our conversations would explore the gap of performance of current state and the future state.  The future state was usually metric driven – meeting production goals, creating highly functioning teams, etc.  The vision of how they wanted their teams to perform, how they wanted to treat one another, how leaders would show up and communicate.

The second thing leaders wanted when they created a vision for the future was very unclear utopia.  They would state that they wanted decisiveness, accountability, teamwork and all of the great business success buzz words.  When I probed as to what accountability looks like, their answers would vary but were missing the behaviors they would like to see.  How would a leader like to show up?  How would a leader have a conversation with her team?

Visioning the Future occurs when a leader becomes clear on how he or she would like to conduct effective conversations.  In what moods would these conversations happen?  Would they be in the constricting moods of resignation, resentment, frustration and anger?  Or would they be in the powerful moods of acceptance, ambition, wonder, playfulness and collaboration?  Visioning the future is not about sales goals, production numbers or efficiency.  All of those metrics are already present in organizations. Visioning the Future is about how we want people to show up. It is about how you inspire the inherent strengths and cares of each person on your team so that they show up fully committed and available to your organization.  Visioning the Future is about the powerful conversations that you will unleash.

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