Let’s look at some CRAZY stats about people, their careers and how fulfilled they are.
- Only 3 in 10 people are engaged in their careers (Gallup)
- 88% of employees don’t have passion for their work (Deloitte)
- 79% of businesses believe they have a significant engagement and retention problem (Psychometrics)
- 86% of businesses and HR leaders believe they don’t have a good leadership development path
That goes across every industry and level of employement…
LESS THAN ONE IN TEN PEOPLE ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT THEY DO.
How INSANE is that?!
90% of people spend 1/3 of their lives doing a job that they don’t even like. If you could die a million times, I imagine this is how it would happen.
The formula for fulfillment is this…
Growth + Contribution = Fulfillment
Do you realize how freaking simple that is?!
In order to be more fulfilled, you need to spend more time growing… That means *ahem* spending more time on blogs like mine and attending our workshops *shameless plug*, watching documentaries, reading, attending events and surrounding yourself with people who push you to grow… and you need to make a conscious effort to go out of your way to give more.
It’s simple, but it’s not easy… I get it.
Here’s the thing… Most of us set our goals COMPLETELY backwards.
We lead through our days rushing about to get everything on our to do list done and it feels like we never finish anything so we’re just aimlessly wandering through life.
Let me ask you a question…
Would you get in the car and start driving aimlessly with absolutely no destination for days on end?
SO WHY THE HELL DO WE DO THAT WITH LIFE?!
We do it the other way around when we’re in the car…
We pick a destination, decide on how to get there and then we get in the car and drive. Leading with vision and effective goal setting works the EXACT same way.
We should set the destination (vision) FIRST, then develop our stretch goals out of our vision, then make our manageable goals from our stretch goals and decide on our activities based on our manageable goals.
When we set goals this way, we have a higher sense of completion because we know that what we’re doing is getting us one step closer to our ultimate goal, it helps us have more clarity in our lives and in our decisions, we are going to grow faster and it makes it easier to accept or reject opportunities that don’t align with our vision.
Here’s a quick visual to show you what I mean.
Most people start from the bottom and climb to the top of the ladder and it goes like this…
- I’m going to go to school today… (activities)
- I have decent grades so I guess I’ll apply to college… (manageable goal)
- I’m in college so I guess I better pick a degree and then change the degree a few times (stretch goal)
- Oh look, I’m in my field, I think what I do matters (kind of a vision).
They go about their day leading with their daily activities until something happens that requires them to start thinking about their manageable goals.
MAYBE they’re planning a vacation or a project at work, but they don’t generally have their own manageable goals.
They’ll talk about their stretch goals when they’re feeling inspired and will generally distance themselves so they don’t have to take any ownership.
They’ll say things like “it would be cool if…” or “somebody should…”.
Most people RARELY talk about their visions or even realize that they have one until someone comes into their lives and forces them to think bigger.
We’re going to do it the opposite way…
We’ll start with your vision and work down to your activities.
… and speaking of making things concrete, we’re going to start HUGE and abstract with a crazy vision and work our way all the way down to the super concrete with our daily activities.
Don’t start checking out on me because you’re overwhelmed.
Let’s dive right in.
Developing Your Vision
First things first, let’s talk about your vision.
No, I don’t mean if you have like 20/20 vision… We’re talking about your idea of the perfect world.
I want you to close your eyes and answer this question…
Seriously, close your eyes…
Are your eyes closed? (They’re definitely not if you’re reading this, just sayin’).
If you had unlimited resources and could have the world any way that you want, what would it look like?
Paint a picture in your mind of what that perfect world would look like.
That my friend, is your vision.
Whatever that looks like to you, that’s what I want you to keep in mind.
Now, I want you to put your vision to the test…
A great vision has a few things going for it (I wish I could take credit for this part but I learned it from a training I did in college called LeaderShape and have yet to find anything that can beat it).
This test is flawless:
- Compelling: When you talk about your vision, does it get people to want to take action? Your vision should be so moving that when you talk about it, they literally can’t help but get involved.
- Service-Directed: Making a lot of money is not a vision. Making a lot of money is a result of achieving your vision but it is NOT the actual vision. Your vision should benefit others first.
- Challenging: If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth doing 😉
- Vivid: When you talk about it, you should paint a picture in someone’s mind about what the world would look like if your vision became a reality.
- Expandable: A vision shouldn’t be a finite destination… It’s sort of like when you’re driving on a flat road and you can only see so far but as you get further down the road, you continue to see the road in front of you. That’s how a vision is. Even when you hit your original goals, you’ll continue to think bigger.
In the workshops that I’ve done about vision, I find that this is the step that people struggle with the most… and it’s completely understandable.
Firstly, the world encourages us to “be realistic” so it’s hard to flip that on it’s head and give yourself permission to think bigger.
Secondly, the idea of having a vision allows for a ton of possibility and makes it seem super abstract.
Our job as empire builders is to pave the road for others to walk down and so we have to start somewhere.
Our job as leaders is to build a vision and make it concrete for those that we lead.
It all starts with vision.
Even if your vision isn’t perfectly worded yet, that’s ok.
Oh, and if it sounds insane, good! That means you’re doing it right.
Your vision SHOULD be abstract and have millions of ways to approach it.
I always like to start my vision with, “I envision a world where…” because that statement gets you to really think big.
My perfect world looks like this…
I envision a world where people were passionate about helping each other reach their full potential. People would take the time to mentor each other and uplifted and inspired people. Rather than feeling like someone else’s success was to their detriment, we saw each other’s success as our wins too. I believe in abundance and I believe that we can all achieve our craziest, wildest dreams when we choose to work together. The world will be better off when we are all pursuing our dreams. I believe that when we all pursue our dreams, the world will be a better place to live.
By using words that evoke emotion, it helps you to connect to your own vision and it inspires action in others.
When you lead with vision first, it almost guarantees that you’re going to be fulfilled because you have to grow as a person to make progress on your vision and if your vision meets all five criteria, it’s service-based by it’s very nature.
What’s your legacy going to be?
Oh, and before we move onto stretch goals, let’s talk about legacy.
If you ask most people what legacy they want to leave behind, most of them will say something along the lines of “I just want to make sure my family is comfortable and taken care of.”
While you’re reading this, I want you to imagine me grabbing you by the shoulders to shake you and yell all of this at you to make sure that you’re hearing me.
If you take just one thing away from this article, let it be this…
That’s an awesome goal and you should definitely do that, except it’s a COMPLETE. WASTE. OF. YOUR. POTENTIAL.
Leaving money behind is not leaving a legacy.
Want to know how to break your vision down into stretch goals, manageable goals and action items so you can make decisions faster, be more fulfilled and discover limitless energy?
Grab the Empire Builder Pass to get the full length version of this post and you’ll learn:
- What a stretch goal is, how to use it to keep you on track and how to inspire the people around you
- The best way to organize your manageable goals
- Why BOTH stretch and manageable goals are essential to success
- The reason SMART goals fail
- The secret to making progress on your big goals every day without having to make massive lifestyle changes
Grab the Empire Builder Pass here 👇