Where We Are & Where We Want To Be
Earlier today, I was meeting with one of our leaders and we were discussing some of his concerns within the team. We were able to put words to the gap between where we are today and where we would like to be in the future and discussed strategies and action steps for closing it.
Within minutes, we had shifted to discussing the descriptors that he would personally like to be embedded in his DNA and spoken of about him in the future. It was a fun angle to think through and I realized in all of us there is the need to be mindful of our own gaps between where we are and where we want to be in the future.
Whether it’s the desire to be known for being more courageous, a visionary, disciplined, optimistic, trustworthy, aligned and ambitious, or to be less cynical, enamored with complexity, pessimistic, blame oriented and the like, from a person or team perspective, there are three crucial steps to closing the gap between where we are today and where we want to be in the future.
Step #1: Name them.
Boil them down. It’s critical for these values and behaviors to stir us to action. If they’re not easy to grab onto or worth fighting for, they’re probably too weak to close the gap.
Step #2: Share them.
Help speak the future into existence by communicating that, “In X months, we will be a team that ______________.” or “One of my priorities for the season ahead is that I would be a man of ______________.” Rinse, repeat. Rinse, repeat.
Step #3: Speak them.
Tell stories about when an individual or team is carrying it out well and be sure as sugar that we call attention to it when the gap is being widened. Don’t wait. “When I read your email, I noticed a particular focus on the problems versus the pursuit of compelling solutions”, or, “I noticed a missed opportunity to bring much-needed simplicity to the matter by overcomplicating the situation with unnecessary complexity.”
When we as leaders share about a richly imagined future for our teams and team members, we stir the prefrontal cortex and invite people into something better; for now and “not yet”.
Cheers to naming, boiling down, and inviting people into a thriving future!