Hey, hey, bold leaders. Welcome to this episode of The Bold Leadership Revolution Podcast, and I am your host, Tara Newman. I am the founder of The Bold Leadership Revolution and The BRAVE Society and this very podcast. We are here to show you how to optimize your performance as a leader without all the buttoned up stuffiness of corporate leadership and drivel of the personal development industry. We promise, in a world that swings wildly between serious business and woo-woo bullshit, we will stand firmly planted in the middle. We give you the practical side of business strategy, the necessary skills to build your mental strength, and the woo-ish principles to effectively manage your most precious resource, your energy.
It’s no secret that I’m big on setting vision, but I also know that some of you resist this very critical performance protocol. It can be daunting to set your gaze 10 years out. We get stuck in what Mike Dooley refers to as the “cursed hows”, but how will this come to fruition? How will I achieve this? Immediately, we start gripping to the vision and completely miss the point of setting the vision in the first place. Whether you have made focusing on your vision a daily ritual and are excited to learn about mine of if you’re in hardcore resistance to this, this episode is for you.
The first time I was introduced to the importance of vision was way back in my days as an intern for a boutique management consulting and executive coaching firm. We would go into Fortune 500 and 100 companies, and every kickoff started with the company’s vision. Where did they want to be in 10 years? Now, practically speaking, 10 years is a really long time, especially in 2019. A lot changes even in a year. However, for me, creating a vision isn’t a practical exercise. That’s where goals come in. Goals are realistic and practical. Vision is what you anchor your goals to. It’s aspirational, creative, fluid. It’s the anchor to who you are becoming and will inform who you will need to be in order to achieve the goals you set. In other words, vision is an identity exercise. This is why most people fail to achieve their goals. It isn’t a lack of planning. It’s a lack of planning to change your identity.
You try to become the next version of yourself by focusing on what you need to do instead of focusing on who you need to become. When I journal on my vision, daily, it’s a creative exercise. It’s an emotional and a feeling exercise that I use to help me access the feelings of success. It’s about letting these feelings guide my decision-making. When we decide from today, we stay in today. When we decide from our vision of our brighter tomorrow, we take a step closer to that aspiration. One of the hardest things leaders need to do is take action of today, the action of today, while keeping your sights on the future. Too much emphasis on one of the other can throw you off track by not taking care of the day-to-day, too firmly ensconced in the day-to-day. So, too much emphasis on one of the other can throw you off track, either by not taking care of the day-to-day things and focusing too far ahead on the vision or by focusing too much on the day-to-day and not considering the vision.
When you don’t have a vision, you lose sight of where you’re going and wine up toiling away and never really moving forward. Doing daily vision work is a key component to creating unrelenting forward momentum in your life, business, and relationships. Doing daily vision work helps you make better choices for all aspects of your life that you have a vision for. So, it’s not just about having a vision for your overall life or business. It’s about breaking your life down into different segments, like health, relationships, money, career, fun, and really getting granular in having a vision for each one of those components. When you resist creating a vision or feel overwhelmed by creating longer term vision, think about the energy you are bringing into the life you deeply desire. You’re resisting what you want the most. You’re resisting forward movement. You’re resisting the fundamental truth that you are the creator of your reality. I’ve been on the other side of this. I’ve been resistant to my vision, and creating something for yourself, owning it, and taking steps to align with that vision brings up a tremendous amount of feelings and fear.
I completely understand this. I’ve done this work myself. For 10 years, I had held the vision of starting my own business and not working in corporate anymore. When I achieved that vision, I was actually lost? What the heck do I do now? How do I top that amazing feat? What do I want from myself now? What’s possible for me? Then, I looked at my life 10 years from that date, and all the fear hit me. Will my marriage still be intact in 10 years? What do I do as the mother of college-age children? Gosh, motherhood is so bittersweet and heartbreaking at times to have young children in one minute and then flash 10 years ahead and have grown, college-age children was really something that stopped me in my tracks. When I did this exercise for the first time in a long time, I realized that my 10-year vision coincided with my husband being 53, and his mom died when she was 53. It was a huge punch in the stomach with fear and anxiety around facing these realities and also knowing that this was complete fear and didn’t mean that this was going to be our truth.
I’m sharing these things because I understand all of the reasons why a 10-year vision feels daunting, and I have some great news. 95% of the time, I’m not focused on my 10-year vision. When I am journaling daily on my vision, it’s about the vision for my work, my impact, my money, my week, my day, my health, my relationship with my children, my relationship with my husband. It doesn’t necessarily have a timeframe on it. It’s about being aspirational and creative and seeing how far I can push myself into the reality that I truly desire. It’s about getting clear on what I want and who I need to become to claim my desires. It’s about who I want to be at any given moment in these relationships. Here’s another shocker. This is really probably going to be shocking for some of my hard-charging, high achievers. My vision rarely has tangible and concrete things. That’s what I use my goals for. My vision is around what I want to create, the feelings, the essence, the vibration or frequency, however you want to look at it. I understand that this is a far cry from the vision statements we used to create for Fortune 100 companies, but I’m not running a Fortune 100 company and for good reason. It’s not a part of my 10-year vision.
I love the simplicity of running what Paul Jarvis calls a company of one. I love having a lean and mean business that can be flexible and turn on a dime. I love having a small but mighty team. I love that team expansion means committing more to the economic growth of the people I already have on my team. I love the thought of simple systems and processes. I love the thought of being deeply and intimately connected to my customers and clients. I love the thought of being an economic powerhouse, and I don’t need hundreds of millions of dollars to do that. I’m doing that now by giving back to communities that are critically important to me, the ones that are putting education and leadership in the hands of our youth. I love the control I have over my schedule, so I could focus on my two most important clients, my children. I love that I have the time to commit to creating valuable content for free, like this podcast. You see, that’s part of my vision, success simplified. Make more money than I did yesterday, so I can fuel my impact and leave a legacy on the communities that I’m a part of.
In order for me to have the greatest impact, I need to focus my resources, my time, my energy, and my money. This is all a part of my vision. Notice there isn’t anything here at doing or specific initiatives. However, this energy will guide every single action I make. The reason why my decisions and actions lead to high impact results is because I focus myself on who I need to be, on who I am becoming, on my identity. Every decision I make comes from this person, the person who will be paid high speaking fees to stand on stages, the person who will make ginormous impact in this world. This is the level of certainty and self-belief that comes with focusing on your vision. That person isn’t worried about how because they already know it’s a done deal. They don’t need a task list because every action they take comes from the energy of it’s a done deal. Every action they take intuitively is aligned with that vision. Your vision is the fire. When we create goals that align with the vision, it’s like putting kindling on the fire. When we create the right actions that align with the goals and the vision, it’s like accelerant. Layer in a good look at your beliefs and a process for staying accountable, you’re unstoppable, making headway with ease and unrelenting forward momentum.
Now, here’s your action for today because you know I’m a stickler about this podcast actually getting you results without you having to pay a dime. The only thing I ask in return for what I give here on this podcast is a podcast review. Podcast reviews are like podcast currency. So, here’s your action for today. Here’s how you can get one percent further along than you are today. I want you to take 15 minutes and ask yourself what’s your big, crazy vision for your life. Write it down. Yes, you need to write it down because it’s statistically proven that when you write things down, there’s a greater likelihood of them actually becoming reality, and it’s so important. If I can boil my success down to one thing, I will tell you that I feel a lot of embarrassment in sharing this, all I can see is that if I had to boil my success down to one thing is I’m just a girl with her journal who’s writing her big dreams into reality every single day. If I write it, it becomes true. It becomes my truth. It actually happens. So, take that action for yourself. Be that person who writes down their big, crazy vision for their life, unapologetically.
I often share lessons learned on this podcast. It’s one of my favorite things to be able to do, and I able to do this because of a strong commitment I have to radical self-reflection. This commitment means that, every week, I’m looking at what’s happening in my business and in my life, the good, the bad, and yes, occasionally, the ugly.
Doing this work allows me to look at my months and even my years with real data, even for the less tangible parts of my business and life. I call these weekly meetings CEO Debriefs, and I do them twice per month inside The BRAVE Society. We do them together. I have pulled together some of the highlights from CEO Debriefs that I’ve done inside of Brave, and I’m sharing the best of the best with you. You might’ve heard a couple of these on the podcast, but I want you to take it a step further and feel what it’s like to do these with us inside of The BRAVE Society. So, head on over to my show notes and sign up now to receive 10 CEO Debrief questions you will want to ask yourself. Plus, listen in on some of the most popular shares that I’ve made. Listening to someone else’s debrief is a great way to find the language for what you’re experiencing, get a concrete example of radical self-reflection, and learn how to grow your business because it’s oftentimes not what we think.
If you’ve found this podcast valuable, help us develop more bold leaders in the world by sharing this episode with your friends, colleagues, and other bold leaders. Also, if you haven’t done so already, please leave a review. I consider reviews like podcast currency, and it’s the one thing you can do to help us out here at The Bold Leadership Revolution HQ. We would be so grateful for it. Special thanks goes to Stacey Harris from Uncommonly More who is the producer and editor of this podcast. Go check them out for all your digital marketing and content creating needs. Be sure to tune into the next episode to help you embrace your ambition and leave the grind behind.
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