Five Essential Steps to Creating your Vision for the Future
By Courtney Feider
One of my favorite things about The Leadership Circle is that it fundamentally supports the idea that we recreate ourselves. What better time to recreate and set a vision for the future than at the end of a calendar year, coming up to the Winter Solstice, and heading into a brand new reality with the opening of January? In particular, this year is significant because many business analysts and National/International organizations have been projecting our need to “make fundamental shifts in business by 2020”. A few years ago, that felt like a million years away. Now it’s here! We have a choice – we can feel overwhelmed, or we can take action.
The big thing that we did not exercise as business professionals in the ‘90s or even early 2000s is the balance between technical skills and the development of emotional intelligence. When companies like Google started to realize there was no direct correlation between technical skill and bottom-line performance, they started to look under the hood to see what was really happening, and to bring meaning to the way we refine and repeat excellent business. Google started with the research study Project Oxygen in 2008, examining what it takes to be a great manager, and followed with Project Aristotle shortly after, studying what makes a great team. The outcomes were surprising and surprisingly simple. The factors needed for the highest performing teams and greatest depth of management were not in the space of technical skill at all. They were in great communication, listening skills, diversity of talent, and people sharing their lives and life stories with each other, and learning about themselves and others through emotional intelligence and behavioral understanding. They looked at challenges and mistakes as opportunities and kept their eyes on the end goal. They were collectively envisioning what could happen next and with this alignment, manifesting great results.
The Leadership Circle Profile (LCP) gives us a unique opportunity to know a person deeply, and rapidly. It also gives the person a chance to see where they have been and where they are going through the lens of their personal story and experience, and through the eyes of those around them, magnifying the acuity of what they are able to imagine and design for the future.
Though I do a lot of work with teams, my favorite thing to do is to work with an individual client in a Coaching Immersion where we spend a focused amount of time studying what has built the life they know and what they want to let go of or grow to create what’s next. We preface the immersion with some prep work by phone or video call, and I have them complete an LCP 360. During two days in person together, we get to take a deep dive for an extended time, focusing on what makes this person themselves as a human. We speak deeply about their life story, talk about their values, and work to create a personal manifesto, or a call to action defining what they are committed to putting into action.
The life story, in particular, reveals a lot about the person – the weight of their Reactive Tendencies — which often show up as an overuse of strength and an exaggeration of their need to get things done or control their work. It also reveals their Creative Competencies, many of which they underestimate in terms of their capability and capacity to make a positive difference and impact business as an individual leader. Lastly, as a manager of teams, and ultimately as a face representing a whole organization publicly.
We discuss these milestones of their life together:
1. Childhood (and any disruptions or traumas)
2. Young Adulthood (turning 18 and leaving home – desires for future as an adult)
3. Working Life to Date (and significant personal milestones like relationships and loss)
4. A Vision for the Future (what they want to create next)
In the Childhood discussion, we always reveal the baseline for Reactive Tendencies and where they originate. In Young Adulthood, we can see what their hopes and dreams were before they got jaded by work and its demands. Working Life to Date is a capsule of what they are dealing with now, so it’s highly relevant to current and ongoing leadership challenges and their readiness for transformation. Inevitably, in the conversation, they forget to address their Vision for the Future and have to be reminded to talk about it. It’s always the hardest to discuss because many of them don’t know exactly what they want or why and definitely aren’t prepared with the idea of how to get there.
If you feel a little bogged down by the past and overwhelmed by what is to come, here are five essential steps to bring you closer to creating your Vision for the Future:
- RESET YOUR MINDSET – We know that there are two primary mindsets – fixed and growth. In a fixed mindset, the person encounters a new issue as a problem and feels fear as a result of the problem, and then defines the answer to the problem motivated by that fear. In a growth mindset, the person believes that their vision for the future is the driving force of every decision they make, and every issue is an opportunity. They move through issues by examining their vision for the future, and experience issues as opportunities, moving toward development and growth.
- RECALIBRATE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF YOURSELF AND OTHERS – Most of us walk around with baggage in how we see others in our personal and professional lives and the way we see (and talk to) ourselves. It’s essential to shed the baggage and examine what benefit those preconceptions are bringing us, or deciding to put them down. Without this “shedding,” it’s difficult to have a clear vision for the future. Intentionally choose your relationships and the way they evolve and change. Expect people to be different and value that diversity and what it brings to you and your team.
- DISCOVER YOUR CORE VALUES – I am constantly amazed by how many people at work cannot define their core values or what they mean related to an experience at work or in life. Without access to your core values, you lose sight of what tethers you to what’s important to you as a human (not a worker) and you may take it personally when other people “step” on those values unintentionally. When you have clarity around your values, you can see conflict brewing when you and others don’t share values, but you can look at it as a difference and not a personal insult or a professional put-down.
- DEFINE YOUR MISSION – From a presence standpoint, everyone benefits from integrating their access to their core values into a call to action — something they remind themselves of daily and use as the keystone to their leadership experience. It’s a private declaration of your choice to be in the place that you are at any given time and a reminder that you are always in choice – to be in/out of a job or to be in/out of a relationship.
- DESIGN A VISION FOR THE FUTURE – Take the first step to a future that’s new. With the steps above completed, you’re ready to be intentional and authentic about what you want next. Defining this and naming it helps you not only to stay in a positive choice, but to use your choice to drive what you want from life and to look at everything that crosses your path as a building block for what you want to happen next.
The Leadership Circle Profile provides us an opportunity to open the door wide with our clients, helping them to understand that the future is theirs to take with both hands. It gives us the fundamental ability to gaze backward and look ahead. We get the opportunity to live in the moment and set the pace for balanced, integrated leadership. We help people at work who want to be in great relationships – with themselves and with others. Through the LCP 360, we have a view of the vast and innumerable ways that people are different, and the distinct advantage that offers us as a global economy and world community when those differences are used with grace and purpose and tolerance for others.
The future we have been waiting for will be here tomorrow, and then we’ll blink and realize that another 10 years have passed. By 2030 it’s projected that something like 40% of our existing jobs will be outsourced to AI. Today is when we need to connect with and actualize our ability to grow deeply and fundamentally as people. The advantage that offers us as good humans and great professionals is immeasurable because the ability to be human and connected and use heart is not outsourceable.
What will you do with tomorrow?
COURTNEY FEIDER, BS, CMT, ACC is an Executive Coach and an Organizational Development Strategist
“I help tired leaders find safe space to feel creative, valued, seen and heard.”
I have served businesses of all types and sizes with individual executive coaching, team coaching, visioning + strategic planning, leadership development programs, marketing strategy, and interactive communications development. I have worked in Organizational Development and Marketing/Communications Strategy for major companies across many vertical industries including the High Tech industry, Healthcare (in the US and Canada), the Financial Industry, and the Food & Beverage industry at the Global Enterprise, SMB, and Startup levels.
I also work with MBA programs to help students seek and find clarity via the use of emotional intelligence. I have additional specialized training in Presence Based Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Somatic Coaching, Authenticity, Creativity, Strategic Planning, Design Thinking, Neuroscience of Change, and Culture Transformation.
I am trained as a Master Coach and certified by International Coach Federation (ICF). I am also a Certified Practitioner of Leadership Circle 360 and the Leadership Culture Survey and I use the synergistic approach of behavioral science, adult development, and ancient tradition to better understand my clients and help them better understand themselves and others. I also work with the Enneagram and find great value in looking at each of us as “parts of a whole” and working with my clients to build on the ways they can elevate their vision for the future and look at every experience as opportunity.
My work has been featured in Forbes, Thrive Global, Fast Company, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, All Business, and on numerous blogs and podcasts. I work with companies of all sizes across North America and around the world.