We are working on a book about the principles of energetic or lights-on leadership. Although the copy below speaks of leading others, this message is aimed at the leader in all of you whether you are leading people or leading yourselves.
Everyone knows that leadership in any environment is all about the people; about the relationships. It’s about feelings and yet workplaces don’t always want to acknowledge that – talking about feelings can open a door to a lot of drama, and drama doesn’t serve the big picture.
There is a way however to tap into the feelings – the heart – of the people you work with and not open the drama door. Leading with vision is the key. When a vision is shared with others it connects people in a way that inhibits drama and creates flow.
The first principle of Get Clarity’s™ Lights-On Leadership™ is to lead with a passion connected vision. Live this vision every day in all your words and actions, and others will follow.
As coaches, we’ve heard leaders belittle the need for a vision. They say there are too many things that need to be done today to think about some dreamy future. One business owner told us that she didn’t have time to sit around and daydream. She first needed to clear the fog of her daily work so she could have a vision. (Some of you may identify with the old phrase “when you are up to your butt in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your original intention was to drain the swamp”.)
Our response to that is vision without action is a daydream, but action without vision is a nightmare. The alligator problem is always more effectively solved from the higher viewpoint of the original intention.
Having a vision for the future of your work and life is about choices, coupled with the intent to create the future you want. The secret is heartfelt choices about what you want. Without a vision – an image of the way you want your world to be – you tend to focus all your attention on what is not working. And, it is disastrous to drive your life or your work from this space.
What you focus on expands, so it’s critically important that you focus on what you want rather than what is not working. Focusing on your vision, and on what lights you up is a far more energizing and enjoyable way to spend your days. When you operate on a daily basis doing the work that serves a passion based vision, you attract more of what you want, including ideal customers, ideal co-workers, and ideal employees. Like attracts like.
Leading your workplace with your own passionate vision totally impacts all aspects of it. To be truly successful, everything you do must operate under the umbrella of vision, purpose and passion.
One of our definitions of leadership is creating and modeling a clear vision by honoring the individual spirit, by igniting passion and purpose and creating flow between individual spirit and organizational vision. This is leading with your lights on.
And, it all begins with you.
Without your own vision being deeply connected to the work you do, it is almost impossible to wake up the passions and productivity of the people you work with. When you learn to monitor what lights you up, what energizes you every day, what gives you reason to get out of bed in the morning, you then have the ability to understand and direct the passions and dreams of your employees.
How do you discover your own vision of what you want, and what you are truly passionate about? How do you continue to refresh the heart connected vision you already have? One place you don’t go is into your head. This is where many good ideas reside that are not necessarily connected to a heart felt passion. And, you certainly can’t get to your vision by wallowing in the daily grind of work.
You have to step back, find a method to go into your heart, and your dreams to discover where your true energetic vision resides. The best avenue, of course, is to participate in a Clarity experience. There are others. One possibility is to do it on your own. Create a quiet space in your mind to dream, a space that gives you a personal sense of calmness. In this quiet place, start to dream about the changes that you want in your life. It is very important to think way outside any limiting beliefs or negative thinking that you have created for yourself. Be radical and expansive. Go into the field of all possibilities.
Visions that inspire a shared vision in others are those that begin in the head, connect to the heart and create corresponding action steps.
You must also create space daily to re-visit your vision and stay connected to it through the crush of daily pressures. Creating a daily reminder ritual, meditating, telling vision based stories to co-workers, consciously looking for lights-on energy in others, working with an energy coach are some of the ways to keep it fresh. When you follow your vision daily and spend your time focused on doing the work that energizes you, you will attract and inspire everyone you work with.
“Lead with a passionate connected vision. Live this vision every day in all your words and actions, and others will follow.” Leading with your lights-on – It’s a great way to work.
Live every day with your lights on!
Cathy Hawk & Gary Hawk