Your Bags Are Already Packed For The Journey!
As a parent of a teenager, I have an opportunity to drive here and there to drop off, pick up, or attend an event. The one thing I always do is observe those around me. I’m interested in what I can see from others. I’ll look into their eyes or smile to see how many will smile back. When I’m really feeling like challenging myself to reach far beyond my comfort zone, I’ll start up a conversation with a stranger.
This weekend was no different for me. I walked through the store parking lots and noticed people’s faces, while they appeared to be a bit more relaxed there seemed to be something missing from a majority of them…that sense of calm, an attitude which explodes from the face of someone who has a clear vision and is moving forward. Most people seem a little uneasy, worried…but why? I don’t think my journey is to understand the details behind the why…
My journey through Doing Business by the Good Book leads and guides me in just the right direction each and every week. This week was no different as I sauntered into Chapter 15: Having a Vision. I cannot begin to express the clear understanding and first-hand knowledge of the difficulties, challenges, and disbelievers of my vision, by those who don’t know me personally…but the ones which stung the worst were those who were closest to me…my former inner circle. Well, let me be the first to say…if I had listened to each person or group who told me I either couldn’t change, I wouldn’t grow further than I was, or that I was just dreaming I might not be here to take this new journey.
The fact is each successful leader has a clear, definable vision which began as a seed. How the seed is cultivated (self and our vision) is up to us. We each have something to offer that no one else can. It does not matter if you’ve never done this before, the mere fact that you are able to visualize and have the passion means it is possible. You won’t do it alone, and any leader worth the climb knows you can’t make it to the top alone. I was reminded throughout the chapter of 5 personal action items to get the ball rolling.
1. Take off your “Life Jacket”. We all have a natural tendency to fall back on unconscious habits, whether they good or bad, when faced with a challenge or a stressful situation there are things we are more likely to do. In order to be a stronger, more effective leader moving towards their vision we must stop doing the things we “always” do and move towards doing what it takes.
2. Look for the message which is around you now, this message may come from an unlikely person or event; however it’s there for each one of us just for the listening and acting. Be still and listen to your heart and to the most unlikely, they will guide you towards your next direction.
3. Practice new behaviors. Find a role model who embodies the courage and strength required for your vision to grow from a seed to a large fruitful tree. Behaviors such as integrity, honesty, and transparency are behaviors which foster growth and collaboration amongst those you will need the most.
4. Double Check your inner circle. Who do you spend most of your time with? Do these people believe, support, and encourage your vision as much as you? If they don’t, then these people shouldn’t be a part of your inner circle. If they do to your face; however their actions behind your back show they don’t support or encourage the collaboration needed…please, please take them out of your inner circle! People who don’t support and encourage you will take your focus off of your vision and cause you to doubt the vision. Your faith in yourself and your vision is what will separate you from success and average behavior.
5. Remember: Your Bags Are Packed! Don’t short change your abilities, your education, or your comfort zone. You have everything you need within yourself to allow the vision to become real. As a true believer, all you really have to do is have the faith in yourself that you will find the people, opportunities, and the courage to succeed.
Nobody said this journey would be easy…they just said we wouldn’t have to make it on our own. Don’t let your memories be larger than your dreams…as a leader you must move forward. By outlining your dreams into a clear vision…you have just defined your action items. Let’s face it…you might as well take the journey; you’re already 100% packed!
I invite you to join me on a journey; it would be interesting to hear where your leadership journey finds you as you experience Doing Business by the Good Book.