Two weeks ago I wrote about visionary leadership and how to build a vision statement. Today I have a list of nine vision killers that will bring a visionary leader to his or her knees.
This is the structure built by always doing things the same way and resisting opportunities to try new things. Tradition can be a comfort in times of distress or sorrow, as it provides a familiar framework when all else around us seems to be in turmoil. The problem with tradition is that it can lead to stagnant thinking, a lack of creativity, and ennui in general.
Fear may be more than just a fear of ridicule. It could also be a fear of failure (“What if I can’t do it?”) and even a fear of success (“My life will go crazy if this works out. Am I ready for that?”). This is a big topic and deserves big consideration. There may be many psychological forces at work, and we may find many closets of emotional and historical baggage that need clearing out.
Just as we suffer through our own personal or individual list of vision killers, so do others. Someone else’s tradition or fear could impact our vision by spreading an atmosphere of doom and gloom or a cloud of negativity. Nothing is more exhausting than having to navigate around a negative rock in the middle of the stream or a wet puddle in the middle of the road. Naysayers eat up our time and energy by causing us to deal with negative "what ifs" and debilitating "you can'ts."
Complacency — “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?”
Fatigue — “I’m too tired.”
Burnout — “I don’t care anymore.”
Burnout is a very real possibility for anyone in a service profession: family law attorneys, teachers, nurses, and general practitioners, for example. If special attention is not given to the warning signs, then burnout is a real possibility. I suffered from this affliction several decades ago, and I found it very difficult to move forward. Burnout looks much like depression. Fortunately at the time I had this problem, I happened to attend a continuing legal education workshop, and one of the speakers at the workshop presented on the topic of burnout. Once I learned what the problem was, I was able to follow certain steps that afforded me relief and allowed me to find my joy again.
Short-term thinking is the failure to consider how our choices today will impact our lives tomorrow. Short term thinking by itself without a balancing with long term goals and thinking will lead us into more trouble due to short-sightedness.
The above list may is not exhaustive, nor are the items on this list necessarily or inherently bad. My purpose in making this list was to provide items that can kill a vision if we do not pay attention. We have a message – our vision – and we need to pay attention to anything that may kill our vision.
Are there any items on this list that resonate with you?