“The first step toward creating an improved future is developing the ability to envision it. VISION will ignite the fire of passion that fuels our commitment to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to achieve excellence. Only VISION allows us to transform dreams of greatness into the reality of achievement through human action. VISION has no boundaries and knows no limits. Our VISION is what we become in life. ” ― Tony Dungy
“Good leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” ― Jack Welch
Happy Cyber Monday. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are looking forward to getting back to the grind this week! Is this week a grind or an opportunity?
I was thinking over the weekend about a conversation I had few weeks ago with a client that I admire because he gets it. He had just taken a job running a privately held manufacturing plant but left in short order because the owner of the company ran the business as a “boss” that used fear to manage. My client saw the conflict of an owner driving a $100k car but trying to reduce workers’ wages and still trying to get more production from them. I admire my client for recognizing the company would never reach its potential with the current owner’s short sightedness. It was a great reminder to me of the difference between a boss and a leader.
In the early years of running my business I was a boss and I didn’t really grasp what a true leader does. Unlike the plant owner, a leader realizes success doesn’t come from beating people down. It comes from building them up and helping them reach their full potential. A boss manages from the power of the position. A leader motivates, a leader creates a vision, a leader empowers. A leader realizes the goal is to build and create. I used to be a boss. Now I despise the term and hate it when I get called boss. I prefer “coach”. A coach gets people to reach their full potential and to their goals. It’s no coincidence the opening quote is from a great NFL coach. As we grow as a company my goal isn’t to pay my team less it’s to figure out ways pay them more and get them and our clients to their goals.
Last week we took our kids to deliver Thanksgiving meals to the needy. The photo above is after we had been waiting about 2 hours to get our assignment. My kids are night owls and generally are not early morning risers. However, delivering meals required them to be up at 5:00 am Thanksgiving Day. As a dad, I have a certain amount of authority just like a boss. I could have said kids “set your alarms for 5:00am we are going to head out in the cold and the dark to deliver meals”. They would have showed up, we would have gotten the job done but it would have been a struggle and they wouldn’t have been engaged. Instead we helped them picture a vision that not everyone is a fortunate as them and that if everyone pitches in to help collectively we can bring a tremendous amount of good to this world. Which is more motivating? Is it thinking about getting up early on a cold dark morning or a vision of “Changing the world”? They grabbed the vision and ran with it. It empowered them and it was awesome to see their enthusiasm grow. They were up and out of bed without me waking them which is incredible. We had a blast as a family and it was a rewarding day. Incidentally, one of our deliveries was to an elderly Mrs. Clancy. The odds of us delivering to a Clancy seemed so small I took it as a sign reminding us that we easily could be the ones having the meals delivered and not be fortunate enough to be making the deliveries.
The most important person you are going to lead in life is yourself and it starts with a vision. If a vision can make the Clancy girls jump out of bed with enthusiasm it can do the same for you. So what vision for what you want in life is so compelling it makes you want to jump out bed on a Monday morning with enthusiasm? What vision inspires you? Maybe even scare you a little? Check out this video. If Life feels like a Grind change your compelling vision of the future until you look forward to the opportunity your alarm clock brings you.
Have an awesome week and rock on leader!