As a Leader, what are your own personal Vision, Purpose, Mission and Values all about?
The first three months of 2018 has been like standing on the deck of a ship in the middle of a storm. As you find your footing with one leg, the other loses its grip and you slip, and just as you feel deck beneath both feet, a wave washes over and you are gasping for breath. But, you don’t have the luxury of stopping there and recuperating. No, forward movement is required!
It strikes me that this analogy is actually the reality of business today. Nothing is slow paced and considered anymore, even if it would be better to do that. Decisions must be made on the run, things implemented, and people brought on board to effect changes. How is this even possible? When working with people we need to give them time, time to reflect, assimilate and integrate. We need to consult, involve and listen to the views of others, and then we need to adjust in accordance with inputs received. It seems to me that this is when Vision, Purpose, Mission and Values come alive. When these are not clear, we easily get washed overboard.
Time spent rejuvenating the Vision, Purpose, Mission and Values with a client over the last few months, brought to the fore the fact that these exercises cannot be done quickly, you cannot choose from a menu of available statements like buying a pair of deck shoes. You also cannot define these statements by committee. It requires deep reflection, over a period of time. These must evolve and surface from the very soul of the organisation. Leaders need to identify personally with them. When you are alone out there on the deck at night, you don’t have the team with you. How do you personally remember where you are going, or even why you wanted to go there in the first place! It is not just committing to the jointly crafted statements, but also about reviewing your own personal Vision, Purpose, Mission and Values. When these align with that of the organisation, then we are able to move forward with confidence, even in the dark. We know we won’t lose our way, even in the dark. We know we can check- in with ourselves to be sure we are on the right path.
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