Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Balancing Vision with Action

Yesterday I was watching my 23 year old brother peruse the internet very intently. When I asked him what he was doing he replied that he was looking at beachfront properties to see how much it would cost  to buy a house on a beach.  Apparently this was research to see how much money he would need to make to afford it, therefore dictating what kind of job he should have. With my usual eye rolling and snarky responsiveness I asked him "Don't you think it would be more practical  to research a job that will afford you a place that is not on my couch?".  We both laughed. 

Even though my "responsible" side wanted to support a more grounded approach, I had to admire my brother.  I saw a lot of myself in him which I would describe to be the visionary.  I have often caught myself in a whirlwind of looking to the future, focusing on my big dreams and goals, but not thinking about the plan or the everyday steps it will take to get there. Even when I do think about and plan for it, its uncomfortable, irritating, and quite frankly I'm impatient to get to my desired end. Why does this happen? Because it's my personality and make-up.  It's the comfortable go-to and it is where my talents lie - seeing the result or desired end. On the other hand, my husband's go-to is to figure out the everyday responsibilities that allow us to function and sustain ourselves. He is what I would refer to as the linear thinker. He does the finances, the budgeting, needs to know the X, Y and Z's of everything before he agrees to move forward. It drives me bonkers sometimes, and is the base of most our disagreements. But it is his talent, his gift, and without it I'd probably either be homeless or in a psych ward. (Totally exaggerating, but not by much.)

So this got me thinking about this weeks topic as I have been observing my BoA LPs (the Body of Artists Leadership Participants) work out the challenges of putting themselves up to inspiring goals while adjusting their everyday responsibilities to work towards those goals. Those who naturally are visionary types often create amazing ideas of where they want to be but get stuck on the linear method in which to get there, while the linear thinkers can't commit to a vision unless they know the how's and what's of getting there. 

So how do you create life changing, groundbreaking goals while staying accountable to your everyday responsibilities? How do you build a portfolio when you have a full time job, kids, etc? How do you bridge the dichotomy of these two personality types to be able to take sustainable actionable steps? How do you take vision, to action, to results?

This is an acquired skill set, with a necessity for practice by all. This is a large part of what we focus on in our MUA Leadership Program, and it takes time to cultivate and master, but here are some takeaways I'll share that have supported me, my colleagues and mentees once we integrated them into our daily practice:

1. Be Prepared to Change.  You absolutely cannot set the track to move towards new goals by doing everything the way you have always done it. You will need to stretch into the uncharted territory of doing things differently. The way you manage your time, the way you communicate with others, the way you approach a task....all of it must change for you to grow. Whether you are a visionary who gets to try new ways of being grounded, or you are a linear thinker who gets to practice taking risks, change is inevitable. Once you surrender to this idea, you are half way there... or at least have a head start.

2. Know Your Gifts (and know where you are challenged.) There are 4 basic personality types - Visionaries and Linear Thinkers are just 2 of them - and different models have different names for each personality type. But regardless, each personality type has strengths and challenges: each one learns a certain way, each one executes action a certain way. Each one of these types of personalities feels successful when certain things occur and feels rejected or disappointed when certain things aren't present.  Know who you are so you can not only better understand yourself, but better understand and communicate with others in taking steps toward your goals.  Here are some fun, interesting and popular personality tests.  Find out what personality type you are!

Jung Typology Test
Myers-Briggs Test

3. Be Accepting of Your Gift.  I spent a lot of time judging myself because I could not strategically plan and accomplish things the way others did. I judged my success on my failure to operate in a fashion that didn't leap me to my desired results. What a WASTE OF TIME! (However, try not to judge yourself...for judging yourself. Ha!) You were born with a gift that you do well and is necessary in the world. Sure, we all sometimes wish we could have a little of the gifts our neighbors have - and we can certainly learn from one another - but acknowledge your strengths and let them shine...We cannot benefit from them if you do not.

4. Outsource the gifts that you do not have. Whether you are a business owner, a sole freelancer, or on a team, or even in your own family, don't let not having a particular gift keep you from taking great strides toward your goals. I personally love to keep Linear Thinkers around me when making informed decisions about my business; I just hired a COO (Chief Operating Officer) to support me in taking my ideas and giving them structure and actionable steps so they materialize with consistency and efficiency. Like my husband, this person has a puzzle piece shape that fits perfectly with mine: where I have gaps she fills them in and vice versa. Andi f you don't have the money to hire someone? Well we all have friends and colleagues that also need what you have, and in turn they have what you need. I'll give you a hint...when planning something if you are a visionary, this person drives you nuts because they need to know who, when, where, why, how much, and how long it will take before they can agree to anything.  If you are linear thinker, this person is always coming up with crazy ideas, fun out of the box ideas, with a lot of risk and drives YOU nuts because they don't care about the details unless it has to do with fun. You guys can become partners and support each other towards your goals but ONLY if you respect each others personalities and how you both operate.

5. Write that shit down! Make a plan. There are long term goals, and there are short term goals that lead up to them. First describe your ultimate vision. Then break down your steps. Become best friends with your calendar and schedule the steps. Work together with an accountability partner to aid you on the way.  But most importantly honor the VISION part of your goals as it will keep you engaged, give you direction, and remind you WHY you are doing it.......


....BUT! Also honor the individual steps it will take to get there.  

Whether you are a visionary or linear thinker, your journey is unique to only you.  There is no right or wrong way to do it, but there are ways that work for you, and ways that do not. Hopefully you have the awareness to know the difference, the commitment to find the support, and stamina to figure out the NEW ways of doing things so you can experience your achievements being actualized.  

  This insight means diddly with out action... so this week, ask yourself these questions:
  • What type of personality am I?
  • What are my strengths? 
  • What are my challenges?
  • Am I willing to change so I can have what I want?
  • Do I know someone who could support me in areas I am not strong in?
  • Do I have the courage and commitment to ask them to partner with me?
  • Do I have a VISION? Do I have a Plan?
  • What is my next step?

By the way... this is pretty much what we do in the MUA Leadership Program.  So if you are looking for this kind of support, please join our mailing list (fill out the form on the top right!) so you can learn more about it. Next application process starts in January!


No comments:

Post a Comment