Vision alone is not enough. Vision requires action. Vision without action is nothing more than a daydream.
The key to success is to stay focused on your vision and also to be realistic about your current situation. And that can be a challenge.
Here are 7 tips to help you stay the course as you navigate the journey from vision to reality.
1. Stay focused on your vision AND be honest about your present realities.
Sometimes current reality can be so discouraging that It’s easier to say, “My vision wasn’t realistic. I really didn’t want it. It wouldn’t have made a difference.” However, it’s a law of nature that tension seeks resolution. If you don’t give up on your vision… if you decide to hold onto it AND are honest about your current situation, tension will resolve in favor of your vision. Robert Fritz calls it creative tension.because it’s the creative force for your vision. It’s the grain of sand in the oyster that produces the pearl, and it requires that you allow yourself to feel uncomfortable and live with the tension.
2. Always keep your vision in mind when setting goals.
Choose the right goals in relation to your vision.
- Look for high-leverage goals – those that will allow you to leapfrog forward.
- Also consider goals that will have a long-term payoff, even at a short-term price. For example, you might choose some inexperienced high potential players for your team, with a plan to help them gain the skills & experience.
- And look for some that will give you quick wins, to help see progress and stay motivated.
3. Be willing to reset your goals.
Don’t get so focused on your goals that you forget about the vision. Change is inevitable. As in sailing, “tack” to your destination. Keep focused on your vision as you move from vision to reality. And be willing to change your course depending on the winds and other conditions.
4. Revisit your vision frequently.
Sometimes we can drift off course without realizing it. To avoid waking up one day wondering how you got so far off course, keep it alive by talking about constantly and integrating discussions into your daily life. Use your goals as an early warning system to detect when you are off course.
5. Set up processes and practices that support your vision.
On a personal level – what practices and routines do you need to set up to develop the habits that will support your vision? – regular exercise time?
For a team, look at your formal and informal ways of working together. Consider processes for communication, accountability, training and rewards. For example, if teamwork is one of your goals– are there rewards for team performance or is the focus on individual contributions? Systems that are not aligned with your vision and goals will derail you.
6. Remember the journey is as important as the destination.
You need to act consistently with your values and vision at all times. . Behave consistently with your vision in every way, small and great, every minute of the day.People watch what you do more closely than what you say. As a leader, not what you say what’s important, you also need to demonstrate it – consistently.
Make sure you have a good feedback system in order to know how you’re coming across to others.
7. Start now!
As soon as you identify your vision, start to live it. You can’t create a vision for a healthy life and continue a diet of junk food while you’re working out a plan. Some steps are obvious. You need to take them. You might not be perfect, but you can’t wait for that or you’ll wait forever. You have to take a risk.
Vision is about action, not being overly cautious and having every detail worked out. You might not see all the steps, but as you take some steps, others will become clear. Use your vision as your guide.
If you have identified a real vision, one that contains The Three Elements of a Compelling Vision, then in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., have faith and take the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.