Overcoming the Blindness of Vision
The down side of seeing the future is blindness.
Your dream makes you willing to do what it takes. Others should feel the same. Passion for the future blinds you to the pressing needs of people, today.
Their reluctance or resistance suggests something’s wrong with them. In reality, something’s wrong with you.
Blind leaders steamroll others
and in the process blame their victims.
Everyone doesn’t see tomorrow as clearly as you. The needs of today are clearer than the dreams of tomorrow, to some.
Individuals and teams won’t move forward until their pressing personal needs are met. Prepare people to meet challenges.
Some need comfort. Others need information. Still others, won’t face new challenges until they learn new skills. In any case, accept their pressing personal need.
- See and accept their urgent need. Say, “You seem reluctant to accept this assignment.”
- Don’t belittle or minimize. Ask, “What makes you feel this way?”
- Ask them to clarify their concern. Ask, “What is causing your reluctance?”
- Speak directly to their need using respectful, encouraging language. Say, “I will coach you through this project.”
- Give them time to digest and adapt. Ask, “Can we talk about this tomorrow?”
- Creates trust. You trust people who understand and accept you.
- Frees individuals to try, even if they feel reluctant.
- Enhances productivity by fueling motivation.
- Lowers stress.
Keep talking vision even as you accept and prepare people to move forward today.
Urgent circumstances may require short-cutting this process and creating high levels of distress. You may need to say, “I realize this is difficult for you, I need you to step up. I believe in you.”
How can leaders stay passionate about the future and sensitive to others at the same time?
Dan, what a great picture!!!!
Sensitivity does not build trust, sacrificing ones time does.
Think about it. In a flash I can feign sensitivity, can’t you tell I care, it sounds like caring words when I am flapping my gums….. Hehe
Talk is cheap but TIME is all our most valuable limited resource. One gives up their time for another, that counts. Talking sensitive words don’t.
I will say this again, if whys are connected then TRUST
Emerges!! Time sacrificed develops trust not stinking words. Lol
Maybe people have no idea what that means. Here is what it means to me.
Life is gonna happen and distractions will come but if we KNOW that we KNOW that we KNOW that we got each others backs then do whatever you need to take care of. Be here when you get back.
Leaders can ONLY feel comfortible if they hired people who believe what they believe and connect why’s, clearly define the Vision and most importantly give their time to their followers.
Any other way from traditional thinking the results are 80% of it don’t work, period. You can be sore at me but the numbers do not lie, people do. Ignoring the obvious is a form of lying.
SP good stuff today Dan. Go Broncos!!
Great information! I wholeheartedly believe that leaders must “prepare people to meet challenges.” And compassion is a must!
And with all that, Leaders need to be open and flexible. Perhaps their dream, which may well be set in stone in their mind, is not the best outcome and they need to engage staff in a conversation around that dream, not only to encourage ownership by others, but to have assurance the direction is the best outcome. Obviously that depends on the urgency and gravity of the matter.
Alignment of rate and pace is a vital leadership skill and a difficult one. The vision carriers tend to see their objectives closer and clearer, but without bringing others on board they are not leaders, just dream tellers. Communication, alignment, buy-in, are vital execution skills, and in the end it’s what we’ve done, not what we’ve said we could do, that we are judged by.
great post. I have definitely been guilty of this… even though well meaning.
Dang, Dan. I needed this today in particular. Thanks.
Another great post Dan! I love the picture you chose.
This is a good one. We are often so caught up in our vision, we forget the present. And, the fact that others are not with us.
I shall write a blog post that will be inspired by this fantastic post of yours..
Dan, the advertising banner at the end of the blog is much more effective …. the colouring is eye-catching. Great vision 🙂
Thanks for the feedback Imelda. Much appreciated.
Dan- This is a great post. Very timely for me.
It is so important for leaders to remember that the map is not the territory. I have been guilty of getting so excited and immersed in the map, that I have missed important information on the ground.
A singular focus on the map, will undoubtedly lead to blind-spots- hurdles, obstacles, that may call for important pauses, or route changes along the journey.
So important to have one eye on the map, toward the desired destination, and one eye on the ground in front of you- with fluid communication between the two, so that each can influence and enhance the other.
Thanks for another thoughtful post!
Another point I’d like to add is having a clear and common goal and communicate that to others. If they don’t know what your ultimate goal is they might just consider the task, just another task.
Excellent post, Dan. It’s a great reminder that “just because we’re right doesn’t mean we’re not wrong.” I can focus on the big picture and have the best intentions with the best guidelines, etc., but if in the execution I do not assist staff members with their issues, I suck!
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