“It doesn’t matter when we start. It doesn’t matter where we start. All that matters is that we start.” – Simon Sinek
It’s always important for leaders to have a clear picture in their heads of where their business is going. It’s even more important when those leaders are trying to navigate chaotic environments like the one we’re currently living in. That clear picture helps shape decision making and helps leaders decide what to say yes – and no – to.
The same thing applies to leaders themselves. Leaders need to understand where they want to be in terms of themselves as leaders. They need to know what capabilities they need to add or improve on, what behaviors they need to eliminate or build on, and so forth. Too many leaders fail to spend enough time thinking about their own path, and they end up being unprepared for the future they’re trying to lead their business into.
One of the reasons most leaders struggle with clarity for themselves is that the idea of creating a vision for yourself sounds overwhelming. There are so many things that leaders touch and are responsible for. Leaders try and include all of those things and end up with a vision that’s really just a list of problems to solve.
So start simple. What’s really your role in the business right now? What are you known for today? What are the most valuable things you currently do for the business? Based on your vision for the business, how will those answers need to change over the next few years?
If you can get some clarity around how those answers need to change, then you can start thinking about action. If a few years from now you’ll really need to have a high performing team, then what skills will you need to better coach and develop those people? How will you add those skills? If a few years from now you’ll have to lead your business through major change, then what capabilities do you need to build so that you can better drive change and implement strategy? How will you add those capabilities?
The point is that you, as a leader, need a picture of yourself in the future. It’s your target. It’s what you use to make sure you’re on track. It doesn’t have to be a perfect picture. Things will change as you move forward, but an imperfect vision is better than no vision at all, so get started and see where you end up. Good luck.