This is the first of many “Back to Brilliant Basics (B3)” blogs that you will find at this blog site. Please feel free to share your thoughts with us at our Facebook site. Tell us how the blog changed the way you think. Tell us how you applied what you learned. Share your successes. Maybe together we can change the world by changing ourselves.
How’s Your Vision?
By Rick DeVries
President & CEO, Monarch Community Bank
The subject of this blog entry may evoke thoughts about scheduling a trip to the optometrist – but as important as a regularly scheduled eye exam is, that is not the vision to which I am referring. Rather, it is the vision of the mind and the heart.
Great accomplishments are almost always preceded by great vision. Somewhere deep inside of us, in “our mind’s eye” we have the ability to see what it is that we want to accomplish. The clearer we see it, the higher the likelihood that we will achieve it – and that often requires real mental effort. Like the astronomer who may spend months or years focusing the lenses of a high-powered telescope to find celestial bodies far in space, we too must expend energy to focus the lenses of our heart and mind in order to gain a clear vision of what we want to achieve.
I once attended a speech given by the Olympic gold medal gymnast Mary Lou Retton. During her presentation, she shared stories about the pain she endured every day that she practiced. When asked by someone how she endured it, the answer was…. she saw gold! Every day that she practiced, she imagined herself standing on the top platform, head bowed, having the gold medal placed around her neck. Her vision was clear and powerful – and it became reality.
Organizations, like people, need vision, too. In fact, one of the greatest responsibilities of leaders is to create that vision and share it with others. Like an artist who conveys a vision of the world by placing paint on a canvas, leaders must likewise employ a palate of words to paint a vivid picture of the vision they see.
To be powerful, vision must come from the heart and should create in the mind of the listener an image so clear as to be unquestionable. No one questioned Mary Lou Retton’s vision of her future. It included work, pain, and sacrifice, mixed with moments of perfect performance. She closed her eyes and saw herself tumbling, balancing and vaulting herself through the air and onto the gold platform.
And that is one of the great keys to a powerful vision. It is truly something you see in your mind’s eye. It then becomes a document that is stored in your heart and read over and over again until the vision is achieved.
Now the question is… what is your vision for you? Can you see it clearly? Have you shared it with others? Are you passionate about it? And what is the vision for the organization you own, or work for? Does it inspire you? Does it motivate your team? Whatever the answer to these questions, there is no doubt that vision can lead to victory. No matter who you are or what you do, it may be time to focus the lens and take a good look.