I love talking to people with vision. To be able to see where we could go and what we could do is a wonderful trait.Â Years ago I took an assessment that helps determine your role in a team (it is called Role Based Assessment and it is pretty cool) and it said I was a “vision-mover”. That makes total sense as I often understand where someone is trying to go and can help them get there. But to have that original idea of where we could go? I don’t get to have that often so I LOVE talking to people who do.
I’m lucky to know many. This week I had lunch with someone I don’t know well, but who clearly has vision. He was able to succinctly articulate his vision for our school system. It was awesome. I immediately understood what is possible and how things could be approached to make that happen. But it took him putting it out there to show me that. A good friend of mine is a genius in that he spends a lot of time 3-4 years from now. When you get him talking, he can vividly describe where he wants his organization to be 3-4 years from now. He surrounds himself with people who can get him there because once he’s articulated the vision, he’s on to the next one. It is phenomenal to watch.
But, in my experience, this is somewhat rare. The average business owner doesn’t have those visions and while coaches will ask, “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” the answers aren’t creative or accurate because for many of us, that kind of thinking is tough. So how can you get there if it doesn’t just appear in your head?
I’ve learned a couple tricks to help me gain “vision”. One thing is to start today and build. I’m good at organization-building so if I start with “what ifs” and build up from there, I can get myself to a doable and recognizable vision of where I’m going. It is kind of like envisioning a road and mentally walking yourself down that road to see what is at the end. And as I am often watching out for the “what ifs” in my life, I anticipate things along the road that can change the direction of the vision. Obviously not always, but enough to be able to articulate a vision at the end that gives me what I need for planning, budgeting, and other management functions.
A friend of mine has a lot of success with cutting pictures out of magazines that speak to her and then at the end, reviewing the overall collection and seeing what it shows her. While I’m not a visual person so it doesn’t work for me, for her it gives her a creative way to lead her to that idea of what’s possible and where she could go.
A third friend writes down things that hit her as they happen and then she goes back and reads them all together once a quarter. Often the things she notes go together and form a cohesive idea that can easily be mapped into a vision. She doesn’t have the pressure of doing it all at once but still gets to the result.
So while not all of us are good at envisioning the future, there are ways to get there so you know where you are going. How do you get to your vision?