Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The 3 C’s of Leadership; Part 1

Any leader needs to stay focused on what’s important. John Maxwell has said that the problem with vision is that it always leaks, and therefore must continually be recast. 

But who recasts the vision for the leader? All of us need those outside voices that we can trust to speak valued truth into our lives. But you can also speak into your own life simply by committing to write down the important things, and revisit them regularly. For me, this is one of those valued, frequent stops. It is the 3 C’s of Leadership. For my own sake, over the next 3 days, I will post one of the 3 C’s. If you want to follow along, that’s great. It’s always good to walk together with others who want their leadership and their lives to succeed.

The First “C” - Clarity

When my father was teaching me to drive, I tended to drift from side to side in my lane on long straight stretches of highway. There are a lot of those in Texas. Dad had been a pilot in World War II and told me that one trick he used to stay on course when flying visually was to pick a spot on the distant horizon and lock in on that spot. He said it works in driving too. So I would do that. I would pick a spot in the middle of the lane I was in as far ahead as I could see, and lock in on it. That was where I wanted to go. It is amazing how something as simple as where I fixed my focus stopped my side-to-side drifting.




The truth is, there are much broader applications of this simple exercise for those of us in leadership. It is easy to get distracted by something other than the vision (I am assuming a general understanding of the term, vision) we have cast and has received buy-in from others in the organization who are now committed to that vision. The key is to recognize and have clarity about where you are going, and pick a spot on the foreseeable horizon that is the next benchmark in getting there, and lock in on that. This will keep your leadership from drifting and wandering out of its lane. That can be almost as disastrous in organizations as it is on lonely Texas highways.

A good thing to do from time to time then, is to revisit the vision, and evaluate how well you are doing at staying in your lane - staying on course. No doubt there are times we have to change lanes or even change roads and directions entirely. But that’s another discussion. As long as the vision has not changed, being clear on what it is, and assessing the effectiveness of your strategies and tactics in achieving it will help you dial into the next step in its pursuit.



So how clear are you on your organization’s vision or your own personal vision for yourself or your family? Are others buying into it too? Are you regularly recasting it for them and for yourself? Is your lack of vision causing your to drift, or do you have a spot on the horizon toward which you are moving?

May you always be clear about the vision you pursue. May it be one that adds a positive value to this world and the people in it. May it be a vision that demands and develops a strength of grace and character in you as you live into it. And may the journey this vision takes you on bring you and those who join with you, great joy. Be encouraged!




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