Andy Stanley coined the term “visioneering” to describe the act of creating and reaching a vision. Visioneering is an important part of leadership because “leadership is the act of taking others where they will not – or cannot – go on their own”. To lead others to where they have never been requires the necessity of knowing where to go and how to get there; i.e., visioneering.
It requires more than being an “idea man”. A million great ideas have never been given birth to, or die prematurely, because of one’s inability to know how to develop the path from getting here to there.
Below is a “readers digest” version of developing the ability to reach our goals:
Ask the question. Too often when we think about what we would like to see accomplished in the future our fear or negativity holds us back. To achieve it, we have to put proper focus on what we would like to achieve in the future. It begins with a simple question: Are you here or are you there? Your mind and interest must be there – pondering what the future could/should be like – rather than where you are at present; you need to start on the path and give significant attention to there in order to eventually reach the goal. By adopting your future mindset now, you can push all that self-doubt aside, and each calculated step along the way becomes the building blocks to accomplish your vision. This is the most powerful part of the entire exercise.
Write it down. Use a large whiteboard to write all the mini-goals that are the steps along the way to reach your ultimate goal. No one just jumps from here to there – there are calculated steps along the way. Then set as your immediate goal the first step in the process, then the next step, and the next while keeping an eye on the ultimate vision. The more steps that are successfully achieved, the more energy will grow for you and the others taking the journey with you. Remember to celebrate the success of each step along the way!
Keep your eye on the ultimate goal. You and your team might have come up with fifteen or so steps that have been accomplished and everything seems beautiful and rewarding. Sometimes so much so that we might intentionally or unintentionally be content to drive our stakes in the ground and settle in part way along the journey. Don’t take your eye of the ultimate vision – it has been determined to be an honorable goal and worthy of your continued attention and progress.
Talk out the story. Again and again, highlight how far you have come; have fun with it and include everyone in the excitement of reaching the ultimate goal which is now closer than it has ever been! You know you have done a good job if everyone is excited, and a bit anxious about what is still in front of you. Talk the story; live the story!
Broadcast the impending achievement. As the final vision draws close on the horizon, unveil the vision to all who will benefit from it. Until now it has been the production of some, maybe many. But in reality, any great vision has a long reaching effect. It is now time to turn everyone’s eyes on the approaching victory. This last step helps to renew the energy of all who have become weary in the journey and brings excitement to reach the final achievement. Even more significantly, it brings credibility, trust, and excitement to the others whose eyes have just been opened to the approaching summit. There is nothing quite as exciting as a new sunrise promising an exciting new day!
There will be an overwhelming consensus that what seemed so out of reach just yesterday now is within our reach. All of the “I wish”, “I think”, and the “maybe” is swallowed up by the “Wow! We did it”. An analogy is the Dave Ramsey victory cry of each achiever screaming “I am debt free”!
The question that begins the journey is: “are you here or are you there”?
Joyfully in journey,