Last year, the two of us were creating our Half a Bubble Out Village course, a resource for other small business leaders. The process involved crafting and building a series of instructional videos, and it was grueling. We’d set a goal and had a clear sense of why we wanted to complete this course—but it was still a grind.
One morning, I’d woken up tired. I was grumpy and I didn’t like how my hair had turned out. I didn’t want to go on camera. I didn’t want to be responsible for saying anything intelligent. I said as much to Michael on our drive to work: “I really don’t want to get in front of a camera today.”
But then I began to think about the reason we were doing the videos in the first place. What could happen if we actually got our Passion & Provision strategy in the hands of 10,000 leaders in the future—or even just one hundred by the end of the next year? What could happen in the lives of people if they could live into this new paradigm? How could lives be changed and transformed if people began to see their work as meaningful? What could happen if that many business leaders could inspire themselves and their employees, and revitalize their struggling businesses?
The thought inspired me! Excitement began to rise up in me for why we were doing it, and by the time we got to work, I was actually excited to film that day. The Vision changed my entire attitude. It was the thought of the potential impact our work could have that gave me the energy and enthusiasm I needed to dive back into the grind.
Vision can make your work matter to you, whatever the Vision is. The why behind your work can sustain you, energize you, and remind you why you’re in the fight. It provides your day-to-day work with a sense of bigger meaning and purpose, helping you continue to push forward. The struggles you experience today are placed in a larger context; you can remember that there’s a worthy goal that you’re working toward, which makes the temporary problems mere blips on the screen.
Your Vision also helps you work in and on your business—both of which are necessary. One of the best compliments we ever received was from one of our long-term clients and friends who recently passed away. He was an incredible man that we both respected greatly; he was constantly looking to improve and grow. He said to us several years ago, “One of the things I value most about you two is that you can both live in the weeds of the day- to-day details, but you can also come back up and look at the high-level picture. You can go back and forth.” What he said that day gave us the ability to put words to something we didn’t realize we were doing and helped us understand how powerful it was.
As a leader of a business, that’s your role: you need to be able to go back and forth between the horizon—looking at the big picture, thinking about the goals and direction, working “on” the business—and also get into the weeds with your employees, working “in” the business. Then, you need to help your staff connect their daily work with the long-term Vision of where you’re headed. That’s how you’ll keep everyone motivated to work toward the larger goal.
How do you effectively move back and forth? How do you have the clarity needed for the high horizon, along with the specific awareness needed to accomplish the goals in the near future? You form a clear, complete, compelling Vision, and you follow up with a well-formed Strategic Plan.
You’re the leader: you’re the one with your hand on the wheel. You’re the one with your foot on the accelerator and the brakes. By forming your Vision and Strategic Plan, you embark on a journey that has the power to take everyone else in your vehicle to an amazing destination. You’re the one responsible for keeping everyone safe. You’re the one who’s going to have the most influence on morale. You’re the one who decides when to stop and stretch, how to guide the car to the best attractions, when to forge ahead and encourage your passengers to power through.
The leadership is on you, and it’s an awesome and terrifying responsibility. That’s why leadership is such a critical component for effectively carrying out your Vision, and that’s why we’re talking about leadership right…now.