How to cultivate a vision to lead this year and beyond
Vision is exciting. Vision gets you out of bed in the morning, vision brings vitality into your life!
If assets fuel your business… Then vision fuels your life…
If you are in a leadership position – as a director, manager, team leader, parent or teacher – having a vision is an essential aspect for you. But what does that actually mean? Is it how you think about and what you see in your future? Is it what you want for your business or team?
A lot of people I have spoken to recently have struggled with this, as COVID has massively altered not only how they live their lives, but perhaps more importantly, how they saw it. Perhaps you can relate to that?
I’d like to suggest a way forward over this 2 part series for you to help you with your vision this year and then provide some ideas of how to communicate it with your people so that they get it, they see it, and they are with you all the way.
There is something in you that just won’t let go if you’re in a leadership position. It might be a deep belief, something you want to achieve, a particular way of doing things. You didn’t ask for it, or perhaps you did and worked really hard to refine it: whatever it is, it’s a part of you now. Hold onto that, we will come back to it later to help you with your vision.
You will hear all sorts of people talking at the moment about setting goals, measuring metrics, having vision boards, training staff, investing in health and wellbeing… and these are all great. However, before all those things, must come vision.
But what do you do if you don’t have a vision for this year yet? Or what if your confidence has taken a knock and you doubt where you can go and what you can achieve?
Don’t worry, it’s very simple.
To create a vision, you must be open and willing or be able to see, so here are two concepts to use to help you.
Eye sight – seeing things as they are: it is raining, I am sat on a chair, there is a candle in the room. This is the physical act of seeing and then holding the objects in our perception
Mind sight – this is where you focus on what the objects could mean, what they could be used for, what is beyond them, deeper ideas and feelings and how they can be manipulated and changed
I first learned this concepts from the wonderful motivational speaker Les Brown, make sure to check him out – he is amazing!
Here’s an exercise to try out to see if you are currently operating from primarily your eye sight (what you see) or your mind sight (what it could mean for you) at the moment.
Go and find a cup and hold it.
What could you fill it with?
If you think straight away of what you normally fill it with – tea, coffee etc.; then that’s you thinking with your eye sight, the regular, every day options.
have you thought of ideas such as:
- Fill it full of diamonds!
- It’s the empty space that gives it value…
- It can be filled with whatever I want…
Then you are operating more from your mindset – which is a place of possibilities and open mindedness. This is not just where the best ideas come from, more importantly, it’s where the best implication – how you do things – processes can come from.
It is so important at the moment that you cultivate and grow your ability to engage in mind sight thinking.
Here are the benefits of using mind sight thinking, which improves your ability to cultivate vision:
- Opens you up to new possibilities
- Creates more solutions
- Taps into your true thinking potential
- Can be used in a variety of contexts
- Helps you feel empowered beyond current circumstances
- Can help boost your hope and optimism
- Can be a lot of fun!
And here are 3 exercises that you can do over the next few weeks to grow your ability to operate from your mind sight
1. The paperclip test
This comes from the wonderful teacher Ken Robinson, who conducted this study for the Royal Society of Medicine.
Find a paperclip and set a timer for 20 minutes. Write down as many uses as you can for using the paperclip.
This study demonstrated how we can shift from mind sight to eye sight thinking quite easily over time, and in doing so, limit our abilities to see solutions
Year 6 children (10 year old’s) came up with around 20 uses
Nursery and Reception children (4 year old’s) came up with over 200!
The younger children’s answers came from mind sight thinking, where they knew they could use it in anyway they wanted – from catching dinosaurs, to a giant version made out of chocolate!
How did you do? Don’t worry if you got less than 20, most adults do! Try it again. Then leave it a few days and repeat it with a different object.
2. Open ended questions
Open ended questions are great for stimulating deep, proper thought, which create visions and pictures in your mind. So pick a topic-health, business, your relationships etc. and ask yourself these questions. And just pay attention to the pictures, thoughts and feelings that come into your mind.
- What is brilliant about this issue right now?
- How will it look in 10 years?
- (Don’t allow yourself to think “I don’t know…” really try with this)
- Where is my joy in this area?
- How am I helping others in this area?
- Will I be proud of this and how I am doing when I am dying and looking back on my life?
These are not easy, quick questions. They are proves to stimulate and train the imaginative part of your brain, which allows you to see things- both what may happen and what it could mean to you – before they happen.
3. Fast and slow thinking
Ask yourself each week a few very challenging questions from this list (or add your own) The goal here is not to come up with solutions. The goal is to engage with your imagination, over a period of several days, to allow the slower, often deeper and more insightful, parts of your brain, to offer you visions and ideas.
- How can we solve world hunger?
- What would a fourth dimension feel like?
- Should death be cancelled in the future and controlled my technology?
- What would I do if my business was 10 times it’s current size?
- Am I happy with both the person I currently am and the person I am becoming?
Would I want to live on Mars in the future if it was possible? Why or why not?
Before you can have a vision, you must cultivate the ability to see with your mind: beyond raining days, unhappy employees, complaints, tiredness and media hype.
If you practice these 3 techniques over the next few weeks, you will feel a shift from operating from eye sight, towards the deeper, more exciting and more worthwhile mind sight.
You may experience some amazing visions, images, pictures and moments of insight over the next few weeks as you do the exercises.
Make sure to capture them! Write them down, draw pictures, make videos and models and keep them safe. If they have come from the visionary deeper part of you, they are real treasures of high value.
Assets fuel your business… Vision fuels your life!
Enjoy the process of cultivating your vision skills, they will be needed in 2021.
Part 2 will help you to take your new visionary abilities and apply them to craft a vision for 2021 that is compelling, exciting and great for all concerned.
It will be with you very soon