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Five Ways to Effortlessly Move From Fire-Fighting To Setting A Vision

It's anytime and any day and you find yourself down in the detail, fending off needy clients, needy team members and thinking about pressures external to work. You feel pulled, pushed, and not in control of your own destiny. You are output focused, results driven and action orientated. And some of this is good. To what end though?

To know that we are placing our energies in the right place we have to know where that place is …

Seneca suggested:

“when at sea, if you do not know to which port you are headed, then no wind is favourable.”

So, first we have to set our direction and then catch the wind!

Here are five ways to take back control, to effortlessly move from fire fighting to setting a vision:

  1. Come up for air. Sometimes we simply have to stop doing and start thinking. Carve out valuable time that is prioritised and deemed as important as any client assignment or request. Use this time to think, to plan and to review your vision. Do this regularly, to measure how on track you are.
  2. Prioritise the BIG stuff. We spend much too much time sweating about the detail. Give yourself permission to climb out of the weeds and see the bigger picture. Understand where you are going, what you need/want to achieve, what rewards you’ll get for arriving at that destination and how you would choose to continue your journey.
  3. Remember that Communication rules! We get the best from others when they know what we want and need. How connected are the people around you to your vision? Be clear in your articulation of it, demonstrate your belief and passion, show people the way. Once inspired by what you believe – people will follow.
  4. Build capacity and capability. To help you help yourself to spend time directing not managing or doing make sure you invest energy in your team to enable them to take responsibility for their outputs. Empower them. Stretch them to do and be more and so relieve you of some of your day to day responsibilities, giving you time to think and plan for your collective success.
  5. Think about accountability and involvement. Hold yourself accountable to someone – a coach, a team member, or a colleague. Ensure someone knows about the slots you have in your diary for reflection and vision setting and ask them to check in with you. Get everyone involved. Hold a team meeting where you feedback on your vision setting. Ask for input. This not only increases ownership of the vision but also embeds the vision as a live working document, something that grows and evolves.

So there you have it – have fun, be focused and enjoy the outcome of allowing yourself time to think.

Share this post with colleagues and associates to spread the importance of setting a vision!  

Posted on Thu, March 27, 2014 in Leadership
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