What's Vision Got to Do With It?
By Jeffrey E. Auerbach, Ph.D., MCC
Vision can save your life as well as enhancing your life and the lives of the people around you. Victor Frankl, a founding father of modern psychology, contended that a clear sense of vision is related to overcoming all odds. As Dr. Frankl struggled in the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp, he focused on what enabled some people to survive while most perished. He initially thought the determining factors were a combination of health, vitality, family background or intelligence. Ultimately he concluded that the most important factor for survival in the most challenging situation imaginable was a compelling vision – being convinced that there was something important to do.
What about in day-to-day life – in our personal life or in business – does vision matter? Children with a future-oriented role image do better in school and manage challenges more successfully according to according to researcher Benjamin Singer (see Alvin Toffler's "Learning for Tomorrow"). Organizations and teams with a clear vision surpass the performance of organizations without a clear vision (see A. Campbell and L. Nash in "A Sense of Mission").
Stephen R. Covey describes vision as the "manifestation of creative imagination and the primary motivation of human action. It's the ability to see beyond our present reality, to create, to invent what does not yet exist, to become what we are not yet are."
Creating your own vision and "working your vision" will have a significant impact on the way you use time. Helping your clients dream and craft their own personal vision underlies powerful coaching. As an example, reflect on people you know that have a compelling vision - consider friends and business leaders. How do they choose to use their time? What have they created? Vision, when exercised, is impressive and inspirational to others.
What will help you live the life you want – increased focus on time management, organization and efficiency – so that you feel more in control and more "on top of things"? Or would it be more effective to have increased focus on your vision and mission so that you have an inner compass that keeps you on track with your most important goals? Speed may often be important in business, but what is even more important in the long run is to know where you are going.
Clear vision supports us as we put first things first. Vision, which includes an integration of our values, guides us in mundane to important decision-making. For a peak performing individual or organization, every step is consciously or unconsciously checked for being on-vision or off-vision.
What is your vision? What are you focused on creating? In what ways are you helping your clients' develop their vision? What can you do this year to live your vision?