Archive: July 2013

  • Blog

    Inspire Yourself and Others by Developing a Personal Vision

    FujiI realized this week that while I had written an article on how to develop a personal vision, I had yet to share it in my own blog. Here’s a reprint of a blog I originally shared March 12th with Matt Monge through his MOJO Blog.  http://bit.ly/16ojVfa

     

     

     

    I had very few bosses that inspired me during my 15 years in corporate America.  Most of them internalized their role as a cog in the corporate machine and expected me to do the same.  They received their marching orders from on high and passed a subset of them on to me.  Working for them was like eating the same bowl of corn flakes every day knowing that there must be a way to score a blue corn tortilla breakfast burrito somewhere else.  Eventually I was exposed to some true leaders that I found myself attracted to—people who looked and sounded different.  It took me a while to figure out why I wanted to work for them but it turned out to be quite simple.  They knew where they were going.

    People who have a personal vision have a twinkle in their eye and a spring in their step.  They are living with a purpose and their daily progress toward their vision builds confidence and leads to a belief that anything is possible. And those people are just fun to be around.  If you want to be an inspirational leader, start by developing your own personal vision and by making sure you are doing work and living life in a way that allows you to make progress toward it.

    The best advice on how to develop a personal vision that I have come across is through a process called Creative Tension, a term coined by an MIT professor, Peter Senge, in his work on learning organizations.  Creative Tension is a force that is at work in anyone who has taken the time to think deeply about the ideal life that they would like to live and comparing it to a brutally honest assessment of their current reality—the life that they are actually living.  The juxtaposition of where you want to be when compared with where you are sets up a tension that pulls you forward.

    Making progress toward a personal vision and, just as importantly, encouraging your team members to do the same thing will dramatically change the feel of a workplace.  People who have the opportunity to make progress toward a life vision are motivated and happier.  And yes, occasionally the development of a personal vision will result in an employee who realizes that they may have to change jobs in order to go where they want to.  But that’s OK.  The organization would lose that employee eventually anyway, and the loss of an uninspired employee is more than offset by a team comprised of employees who are experiencing personal growth.

    The easiest way to understand what I’m talking about is to set aside some time to work through the following exercise designed to develop a personal vision.  By answering each of these questions two times—once while thinking about your current reality (the way things are today) and a second time while imagining that you are in your ideal job, home, etc.  The prompt to “Transform” is an invitation to list the elements of a personal plan that would move you from your current reality toward your envisioned life.  Once you start the process, you’ll never stop.  And people will never see you the same way.  You will be one of those people who seems to know where she is going—because you do!

     

    Work

    Describe: What do you do for a living? What kind of a company do you work for? Do you work alone or with a team? What are your responsibilities? What values and strengths do you apply in your work? Do you like your job? Why or why not? Describe anything you can about the type of work you do, how you feel about it, and how it is valued.

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Home

    Describe: Where do you live? What is your home like? Is it a good fit for you? How do you feel when you walk in the door?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Relationships

    Describe: Who are the important people in your life. Spouse? Family? Friends? Business associates? Pets? Do your relationships make your life more fulfilling?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Health

    Describe: Are you healthy, fit, and full of energy? What do you do to achieve that? Do you manage your stress? Do you maintain a positive outlook? How?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Self-Image

    Describe: How do the important people in your life describe you? Why do they treasure the opportunity to work with you, hang out with you, or love you?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Fun

    Describe: What are the activities that recharge your batteries or give you satisfaction outside the work environment? How often do you do them? Why do you enjoy them?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Tangibles

    Describe: How much money do you make? How much discretionary income do you have after all of your bills are paid? What is your net worth? Are you saving money for the things you want in the future? What things do you have that are important to your lifestyle?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Community

    Describe: What do you do to give back? Does it bring you a sense of fulfillment and purpose?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Faith

    Describe: If faith is important to you, how do you observe it? What role does it play in your life?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Life Purpose

    Describe: Do you feel that you are fulfilling your life purpose? Not to be overly morbid, but if you died tomorrow, what would your legacy be?

    Transform: Based on this reality, what changes would be necessary to move from your current reality to your personal vision?

     

    Want to lead?  Want to make something really great happen?  First take the time to figure out where you are going!

     

  • Blog

    Wimbledon 2013: Study in Mentorship

    LendlIvan Lendl won 8 Grand Slam titles in his career, including the US Open, French Open, and Australian Open, but he never won one at Wimbledon—until Sunday.  No the 53 year old wasn’t on the court playing against Novak Djokovic but his mentee, Andy Murray, was.  And I can guarantee you that Ivan felt great joy and satisfaction from helping Andy complete a feat that eluded him in his playing days.  There are some things that money can’t buy and Ivan Lendl’s role coaching Andy Murray to a Wimbledon title is one of them.  Once a mentor’s days in the arena are over, the next most satisfying experience is to be helping someone who is still in the fight.

    In the business world as it is in sports the mentor/mentee relationship is the definition of win/win.  The mentor gets satisfaction and, in some cases, compensation—in the form of a return on a financial investment—and the mentee, through extension, gains the experience and confidence to achieve something he has never done before.  Until Sunday it had been 77 years since an Englishman (Fred Perry) won a Wimbledon singles title.

    Contemporary British tennis pros have had little chance of overcoming such a huge mental barrier, as in “it must be impossible if no one has done it in 77 years”.  But you can bet it won’t be another 77 years before an Englishman hoists the Gentlemen’s Singles Trophy.  Why?  Because Andy Murray has shown a whole generation of aspiring, young English tennis players that they too can win at Wimbledon.  One of them will win Wimbledon in the next ten years.  This is how mentorship works; someone who has scaled the peak that you aspire to taking the time to show you that the peak is not that high and not that hard to climb if you know the route.

    Once you find an arena that you are passionate about and have developed a personal vision of prosperity within that arena, make a point to find a mentor to help you understand that you can really do it.  Without one you are highly unlikely to lift the trophy of your dreams.

    Finding someone who cares about you and who has achieved something close to your personal vision is hugely important.  For more information on what a great mentor looks like and where you are most likely to find her check out my previous blog on the subject here.

  • Mark reminds us how important it is to spend your time doing something you’re passionate about, and how easy it can be to turn that passion into prosperity.

    Mike Fries, President and CEO, Liberty Global

  • Shortcut to Prosperity captured many habits that I learned over the course of my career. I would have loved to have this book twenty years ago, as it would have helped accelerate the development of my entrepreneurial capabilities.

    Dan Caruso, Founder and CEO, Zayo Group

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    John Box, PhD, senior vice president, education (retired), Junior Achievement Worldwide

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    Mo Siegel, cofounder and former CEO, Celestial Seasonings

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    Tommy Spaulding, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller It’s Not Just Who You Know

Shortcut to Prosperity Book

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