Your Vision Comes First


Why do we gather the C-Suite together to create a vision in a conference room with shades pulled to shield us from light? Or into an “off –site” that’s just as “on-site” with high speed data streaming into our palms?

Why do we apply rigor and process in tightly constructed templates that demand a constrained response for a vision for years 2, 7, and 27?

Why would we contain and restrain the unleashing of potential?

A vision requires a gathering of abilities to ignite the promise of collected and connected aspiration. Yet, do our typical models (off-site, shades pulled, incremental target years) truly give emergence to aspirational visions?

And why is Vision critical in our exploration of sustainABILITY anyways?

Because Vision is at the essence of sustainability.

We hear the issues so often now that we move into “shut-down” without recognizing we are no longer considering features of our very own shared world.

Hunger. Check.

Obesity. Check.

Stranded polar bears. Check.

Ravaged landscapes and water not fit for anyone or anything. Check.

Contentious and uncivil political maneuverings. Check.

In contrast to these numbing issues, Vision is the gathering of the abilities of everyone and everything to explore, to play, to laugh, to roll in the sand, and to salute the moon.

So creating shared Vision comes from each of us, individually first.

Here are steps for creating a vision for your life. If you feel awkward, ill at ease and hope no one sees you engage in this process, great. Grab your courage and begin:

  1. Stand.  Just stand.
  2. Stretch.  On your toes, lift your fingers to the ceiling.  Reach.  Relax & repeat three times.
  3. Walk.  Outside.  Now.  Quickly.
  4. Look Up – Right – Left – Down.  Slowly.  Again. One more time.
  5. State Out Loud, “To the best of my ability, my hope and aspiration is for:_________________________________________”
  6. Now, allow the echo of that vision to roll around a bit.  It won’t take long for it to flap wings and soar.  Who knows where you will meet it next.
  7. Repeat for 28 Days. My students tell me that if I do something every day for 28 consecutive days, I will realize the impact.  Day one.  Check.

I’ve been working to catch individuals living a personal vision. In common places. Places we travel to in our daily lives. Here are two visions I’ve caught.

In a crowded parking lot at our local grocery store, Jerrod, a store employee, rescues a renegade shopping cart. It’s a bit of a scramble and someone calls out, “How are you?” and without missing a beat, Jerrod calls back, “Living the dream buddy, living the dream.” There was hope and joy and laughter in his response. I caught a vision of laughter filled dreams.

And on the ferry this morning, joining the throngs of commuters traveling into work in various states of alertness, I entered the restroom. On the counter were fresh flowers to start my day. We discovered through our local paper that Eleanor, a ferry employee, was gifting us with this beauty to start our day. Planting fresh flowers in recycled vases isn’t part of her job description. Just as greeting me in the morning with a smile doesn’t have to be part of her role ensuring my safety. Her vision is to bring wonder to my day through the surprise of beauty in the most unexpected location.

These individuals are bringing their personal abilities into our world. They create space for dreaming and considering; for experiencing wonder and awe. They understand and are living into sustainABILITY. Personally. Anywhere. Everywhere.

I want them in my community meetings, in my organizational teams, and in our world. Using their unique abilities to spur us on to deeper and wider visions. Try it today. What is your vision and how will you share it with others today?

Faculty-Mary-Kay-ChessAbout the Author

Mary Kay Chess, Ph.D. is Associate Dean at Bainbridge Graduate Institute as well as core faculty, teaching both Leadership and Personal Development and Organizational Leadership.  Dr. Chess also consults with healthcare executive boards and CEOs on the impact and opportunities of change nationally and in local communities.

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