Gifted leaders have the ability to create an unobstructed view of a path between what exists in the here and now and what is possible in the future for their organization.
Those that are able to create this vision of a clear, unobstructed path between the now and then are referred to as “visionaries.”
Henry Ford, a true American visionary, who in the early twentieth century introduced the world to the automobile, is attributed with saying, “If I had asked my customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” Those that knew Henry Ford understood that he followed a path only he could visualize and create. He understood where the world existed in the present and could clearly visualize the future world that he wished to create and, more importantly, he understood and created the path that made his future vision a reality. In doing so, Henry Ford was able to see beyond what our world wanted today to what we needed for tomorrow.
Developing an unobstructed view of the path to our future requires that we answer three questions:
- Where are we now? This is perhaps the most difficult question to answer. A realistic assessment of our current status is often challenging due to blind spots that are beyond our comprehension and yet prevent us from thriving as an organization. Seeking an outside opinion from a trusted advisor or assistance from a coach is often necessary to visualize an accurate picture of an organization’s current state.
- Where do we want to be in the future? A vision of the future must become so ingrained in our mind that we can see it as if it already exists. Some scholars refer to this profound visualization of the future as a “future memory” or a vision so realistic that we can experience it in the present with our five senses.
- What obstacles exist between where we are now and where we want to be in the future? Having answered the first two questions brings us to the critical point of defining the potential barriers that may obscure or block our path. Once these potential barriers are identified, we can then consider what resources we have available to overcome or diminish the effect of these obstacles.
Developing this clear line of sight between our present and future need not be a solo endeavor. Gather your team together and begin the process of answering these three questions. You will likely be surprised by the creativity and contribution your team will bring to the process.
Perhaps we will never create anything as game changing as Henry Ford’s automobile, but when all is said and done, it is the quality, not the magnitude, of our accomplishments that matters most.
Discover the Ten Steps to achieving your Goals. Implementing these steps will help you make the changes need to see the results you are seeking.
Dr. Joel Small and Dr. Edwin McDonald, the founders of Line of Sight Coaching, are dental practitioners, authors, speakers and Business Leadership Coaches who work with healthcare professionals to help them build more successful practices so they can live the balanced life they seek.
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