Do you have a vision for the future?
Have you formalised this vision in a vision statement using the SMART criteria? Pardon the pun, but it’s definitely a smart tactic. However, there is a way to complement this traditional (technical) approach – and it engages both your heart and your head.
While using the SMART criteria, or other methods such as 5W1H (who, what, where, when, why, how), are valuable tools in articulating the specific steps you plan to take to achieve your vision – does this really excite and encourage you to drive forward?
If you’re getting the same results you’ve always had – it’s time to try something new, even controversial – and it involves incorporating a holistic perspective. Bear with me. What I ask my clients to do is project their thoughts forward to the date they have achieved their goal(s).
While visualising they have already succeeded, there are some key questions I ask them.
Let me give you this example:
A client came to me seeking executive coaching, to provide support as set she up a law practice in Sydney. The technical (SMART/5W1H) goals were pretty obvious from the get go. By creating a vision using this new technique, she was able to determine a less obvious goal – to develop a practice which would leave a powerful legacy in the legal profession.
First and foremost, her goal was to bring to life a practice offering new levels of service to its customers and a different approach to law.
She also established that being deeply committed to promoting and assisting women achieve their goals in the legal profession, and mentoring colleagues with her entrepreneurial skills so they can take over her practice when she is ready to move on to greater opportunities – are part of her vision.
My client credits this innovative approach to helping her construct a robust vision – the reason for her drive and motivation. She had already achieved the practical goals she set for herself at the beginning of the program I designed for her, part way through her program.
Now, her broader visionary goals are well underway. She has even has locked in a more ambitious vision, involving the international stage.
Smell a bit like snake oil? I can understand why you’re sceptical. However, here’s how and why it works:
· When you combine traditional steps (specified and measurable goals) with the holistic method (emotions), there is a wider set of data from which you can draw on.
· As such, there is the potential to improve motivation and increase commitment because a goal you can actually see is more powerful than a goal you write down on a checklist.
· When you can feel and see that a goal is achievable, it elicits other possibilities – and this can strengthen your resolve to become an even better leader!
What do you think? Snake oil or the secret to setting you on the path to success?