Casting a BOLD Vision


Last week we had the great pleasure of hosting a small mini-series to address the beginning of the New Year and compile resources to encourage reflection, cast a vision, and inspire action. In sum, this was quite the inspirational series and if you missed it, please be sure to go back and read the penned brilliance of our fabulous contributing authors. Below, you will find the articles, along with a short teaser. Enjoy!

Purpose. Purpose is bigger than anything any one of us can achieve on our own. Purpose inspires. Purpose always motivates. Purpose can be shared collectively and benefits everyone. Walking into a new year is hopeful. It’s filled with belief that things are possible. A manager gives a nod to these aspirational realities. A leader lifts hope and possibility up and guides people by them. A leader uses their infectious nature to let emerge results that astound and satisfy.

We live in overscheduled times. We are stuck in a company that demands that you do more with less, and rewards a job well done with more job. Or maybe we are passionate about what we do. The job brings fulfillment, which gives an incentive to work more hours. At some point, it will get to be too much. If you are starting to feel like Anakin Skywalker crawling out of the lava pit, there are steps you can take to put things right without becoming Darth Vader. If you make the following shift, 2014 will look very different from your hectic 2013.

Possibly the biggest mistake and greatest opportunity in the New Year is not getting the targets set, but creating believers in what is possible, what is worth fighting for, and being very focused on the difference between compliance and true commitment. Leaders help people go beyond what is currently tangible and visible to what is invisible but believe it is possible. Here are the top three biggest challenges leaders have between Visions of Performance and Hallucinations for the New Year, and ways to overcome them.

[This is] a basic ‘strategic’ planning process. Each part of IO2S2 is inter-dependent and not necessarily linear.  There can easily be blurry lines.  Our world is not as clear cut, as linear, as predictable as it was (if it ever really was).  Since our world is ever changing, we must adopt an Experiment-Learn-Apply-Iterate mindset. It’s a process of asking questions and discerning/discovering answers I call IO2S2:

  • Impact: What should my impact be in ‘my’ world?
  • Outcome: What are important outcomes?
  • Outputs: What are the outputs needed to realize the outcomes?
  • Systems:  What systems (routines, habits, processes) are needed?
  • Steps: What steps (tactics) do I need to do by when?

Making the seemingly impossible, possible demands you consistently follow a deliberate series of steps that will set the conditions for your success. Developing a smart strategy translates intention into focused action. It transforms bold goals into inspiring realities. Here are proven insights from my last two plus decades of creating strategies for pushing myself and those I lead into new, challenging yet immensely rewarding territory.

The problem is, it’s not possible to write specific, measurable goals that will guide you through an entire year. Too many unforeseen forces and unpredictable events will arise that you cannot factor in when you set your goals. The best you can do is either write vague goals that offer little guidance or ignore your goals as the year progresses. The solution is “Using Goals” instead of “Setting Goals.” Think of it as a dynamic process, responding to changes in the environment, instead of an activity to be completed. Here are 4 tips to choose the right goals and make them work for you.

“What’s holding you back?” isn’t as easy a question as it might seem. The intent of the query is not to unleash your frustrations about insufficient budgets, unreasonable customers, cantankerous bosses, or endless project lists – not that these matters are unimportant or should be overlooked. The operative word in the question is “YOU.” What are YOU going to do about the factors that are limiting your potential or constraining your ability to reach for the stars without ending up with a handful of mud?

Vision comes second. First, there is action. People do not first create their business vision and then launch their companies. People launch their companies thinking maybe it’s about doing this, and then figure out what they really should be doing based on what customers actually care to buy from them. Once we get to work, we bump into reality. Then we craft the real narrative we need to make sense of our action.

No one else will be able to dream like you, plan like you, accomplish like you. No one else will be able to think like you, feel like you, and do like you. You are unique, you are you, and you are able. You are able to make manifest the splendor of your dreams. And it is you that is able to spread that manifesto to your neighbor and to your world. But if you sit idly by, watching your glory fade to black, the world will never know you. Your neighbor will never know your name.

All this casting of vision has set us up perfectly for our next weeklong series, launching this Sunday:


Yes, you read it right. We’ve asked a small cadre of leaders and authors to weigh in on that one word, and what it means to them in the context of business. As Shawn Murphy put it to our participants, “this single word, Bold, can have diverse interpretations. Take it in any direction provided that it’s grounded in the business world. Is it about leadership? Is it about innovation? Is it about communication? Is it about a belief? Perhaps a personal leadership commitment? It’s up to you to interpret and weave the meaning into a Bold story!”

There is one thing you can count on. When it comes to the interplay of BOLD and business leadership, the community of Extraordinary Thinkers here at Switch and Shift – yes, including you, our readers – will not shy away from saying what so clearly needs to be said to help our organizations switch their way of thinking to something more modern so together, we can all shift into a more energizing, meaning future! Boldly. Together.

Stay tuned…


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Image credit: Kurhan / 123RF Stock Photo

For your enjoyment, occasionally our team will co-author about topics that pique their curiosities. Follow Ted on Twitter @tedcoine. Follow Beth on Twitter @mrsnicoletto.

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