Leading with Vision During a Crisis

There is a lot of focus on what you should be doing right now, for good reason, but what about the future? Can we look to the future at a time like this? No doubt it can be difficult, but being able to see through the current challenges can set you apart from others. In his blog post titled “Making Vision Stick,” Michael Hyatt says, “Vision, by definition, is an unseen future reality.” That can sounds a bit like fortune telling, and in a way it is. In his book “The Vision Driven Leader,” Michael describes how John F. Kennedy gave America a vision for going to the moon. He didn’t know exactly how it was going to happen, but he knew it was necessary and he was able to eventually convince people it was the right thing to do, and he made sure they had the resources to make it happen. Kennedy wasn’t alive when we finally reached the moon, but it serves as a reminder that a good vision, well executed, doesn’t need the visionary, in order to be successful.

So, how do we provide vision for our teams, our organizations, or our families, during a crisis? In Michael’s blog post he goes on to say, “Make your vision concrete, specific and inviting, and other’s will join you in making it a reality.” Let’s apply that criteria to JFK’s vision and then list some ways we can follow his example. First, his vision was concrete because American’s would be able to know when it became a reality. Conspiracy theories aside, it would become a reality when we put a man on the moon. He also said he wanted “this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement.” Another item which could be clearly measured. He went on to provide specifics when he said America should land a man on the moon and return him safely. The second part of that is really important if you want buy-in! Kennedy’s vision was inviting for a number of reasons. One reason the Soviet Union was kicking our collective butts and Americans were ready for a victory. Second, he said being the leader, “in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.” No pressure there! Third, he said, “it will not be one man going to the moon. . . it will be an entire nation.” I’m in! Who is with me?! Many people didn’t buy-in right away though. It took time, money, resources and continually casting the vision in order to gain momentum and convince people it was actually possible. In our own lives, both personally and professionally, we have an opportunity to look past our current state and begin to imagine what is possible and develop a plan for getting there. What about the current crisis could we have done differently? Your vision may involve becoming debt-free in the next 12-18 months, or it may be to develop a contingency plan if resources become scarce. It may be to continue with changes you implemented during the current crisis, that you would like to integrate into your everyday life, once the crisis subsides. These are just a few of the many ideas you could come up with. Remember to make the vision concrete, specific and inviting, so others will join you in making it a reality.

If you are already casting vision for life after the pandemic, let me know, in the comments, some ideas you are coming up with. If you are stuck trying to cast vision, let’s talk about how we can work together and get clarity on your idea.

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