If you want to be a purveyor of visionary leadership in 2012 you must start by creating a vision for 2012. I recommend creating a separate vision for both your life and your career because, although they absolutely will be inextricably linked, there will be critical and varying aspects of each that you’ll want to capture and use to keep you focused throughout the year.
Here are three essential steps to take to create a vision for 2012:
1. Read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and apply its visionary principles to your life and career
I have learned with my clients that executives often have a difficult time understanding the business-altering difference between a vision and a mission. So, I used the I Have a Dream speech quite a bit this year to demonstrate what visionary language looks like:
“I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Can you see how this language allows you to actually feel what life looks like when Martin Luther King Jr.’s mission of equality for all through a nonviolent civil rights movement is brought to life? You can sense the euphoria at “the table of brotherhood” just as you can taste and smell “the heat of injustice” and the “oasis of freedom and justice.”
Great visionary language awakens all five of your senses.
Now, think about your own personal vision for your life and for your career/business/company in 2012. Can you see it in a way that awakens and entices all five of your senses? Once you can, move to step two…
2. Create three stanzas for your life vision and three for your career vision
These stanzas can be one sentence as you see above, but should reflect the feeling of the world – your world – when your vision is brought to life. Your life vision should include your most important personal relationships, including how you will honor yourself, and both your life and career visions should reflect your Higher Purpose and personal values.
3. Embrace a devotion to “customer” experience
When you envision the world a bit transformed during the course of 2012 by your vision, think about how you will enhance the lives of the important people in your life, your clients, customers and teams through your vision, and incorporate this into your language.
For example, if you are a fashion designer, will your designs enable your customers to feel more beautiful in 2012? To walk taller? Will your company empower others and thus lead to more confidence in the world? To people honoring and celebrating themselves in new, exhilarating ways?
Ask yourself, what does your vision look like and feel like for those who will benefit from and be affected by this vision? If you are on the right path then the answer to this question will get you excited beyond belief to move forward and begin!
How will you create your vision for 2012?
Join me and Steve Woodruff tomorrow night, December 27th, at 8:00 pm Eastern Time for our final edition of Leadership Chat in 2011 as we discuss how to create a vision for 2012 and then how to bring it to life with aplomb!
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Photo is Winter on the Tide Flats by Island Light Photography.