I mentioned last week that I have been diving deep into my organizations and I’m still asking questions, making changes, challenging our previous way of doing things, and generally breaking shit. I’m relentless. Here’s the thing, though, I would rather be disrupting my own organization, than allowing the competition to do it. I will always be one step ahead because I refused to rest on my laurels. One thing is for sure – as I’ve been getting really granular and digging in deep on every little part of the organization, the big vision has never been more clear.
Sometimes you really do need to go small, in order to go big.
As a business leader (really, a leader of any sort of organization – your church, your family, a committee at the office, your fitness group, etc.) your vision is critical for the overall success of your organization. Without a vision, what is it all for? Leaders must be communicating the vision constantly (every four minutes) and it should be so consistent that anyone in the organization could be asked, “What is the company’s vision,” and they would all be saying the same thing. Is this happening in your company or on your team? Does everyone know why they are coming to the office each day (other than for a paycheck)? If they don’t, that’s on you. Change it now.
Consistency is really critical here. My five organizations have shifted focused, had multiple divisions, closed a couple divisions, changed models and compensation structure, gone through re-branding, etc. But despite all of those changes, the North Star, the vision, hasn’t wavered. I am just as committed today, as I was ten years ago, to build a business where personal growth is the foundation for transforming the lives of my employees, their families, and our clients. I fell in love with my vision and so should you.
So, while you need to stay true to your vision (for the sake of your staff, your overall brand, and the consistency of your leadership), I would definitely encourage you to date… your model. Here’s what I mean. If you’ve got your North Star, your vision, in your sights, then it will be up to the model to get you there as quickly, as efficiently, and as profitably as possible. There are going to be thousands of ways to do that. Think about it – if you want to lose weight (your vision) how many different programs are out there to help you achieve that goal? Pretty much endless! Hell, all you have to do is eat less and move more! You can chose a model, let’s say intermittent fasting, then after 60 days realize you don’t have as much energy as you used to, so you move to a low carb, high fat eating plan with 3-5 HIIT workouts a week. Great. Still on the path towards your vision, the model has just changed.
Your model for any goal and ultimately for your vision should be flexible, nimble, and ever changing. If you get stuck on a model, then you’re often unable to see what might need to be changed, adjusted or completely thrown out. If you get stuck on a certain model being the only way to achieve your vision, then you may never achieve your vision at all. For example, if your vision is to see a sunset, but you’re running East then, no matter how hard or how fast you run, you’re never going to see it! If something isn’t working, make a change. Direct your energy towards the right activities, the right models. That does not mean your vision changes, your vision should be the guiding force in determining when or how to adjust your model. The why (your vision) doesn’t change, your how (the model) can and should. Sometimes the tweaks are minor, like adjusting an intake form and follow-up process. And other times your model may change drastically, like reorganizing an entire team or division, eliminating a product offering, or changing your company name. Regardless of the size of the change or how your model shifts based on these changes, the vision must stay in the forefront of your mind.
In fact, when models are shifting and there are multiple changes in the organization, then it is more critical than ever to be sharing the overall vision of the company. You may need to up your vision sharing from every day, to every hour. You must make sure all of your leadership team members and division leaders are also communicating the vision and how each team member’s individual contribution fits into the overall vision. Change is difficult, especially when people feel like it’s just change for the sake of change. Change often requires extra work, learning a new system or process, or shifting job responsibilities. If the vision is clear and a team is bought into it, then they will not only withstand the model change, but come out on the other side stronger and more committed to the company and vision then ever. Dating is hard. It’s up to you to guide your team through the dating phases of building your vision, while ensuring they never forget their love of and commitment to the vision.
What’s your vision? How many iterations have you gone through on the way to fulfilling your vision?