There are times when it feels like you’re being tossed and turned by storms at sea. When seemed like a solid ship (your work, your home life, your future) leaves you asking, “When did this turn in to a boat of questionable seaworthiness? And where is this heading?”
When a Clear Course is Needed
A couple of weeks ago I facilitated a retreat for an organization and its 4 person staff who’ve through a challenging year. One position was filled and emptied within 4 months, two long-time staff members moved on to new opportunities and the new Executive Director needed to her feet. Plus the Board of Directors has new leadership and a changed structure.
And if that was not enough, they are facing the troubling reality of evaluating the balance between finances and services being offered: “What needs to stay, what may need to go and what could be modified?”
Unsettling to say the least.
When I asked how would you describe things? The staff said, “It’s like we have been drifting and trying to keep our heads above water; without much time to consider how to start moving forward again.”
Three Questions to Chart a Clear Course
The incoming Board President and the Executive Director knew that the staff needed to feel a sense of focus and equilibrium. And answer 3 key questions.
- Where are we now?
- If we were at our ideal what would that be like?
- What is it we want to feel and experience as a result of what we do?
Three powerful questions that provide great raw material for a cohesive shared vision. If you to dig deep and are honest.
Vision matters so much because it is the underlying description of WHY. WHY you do what you do, as a person, as an organization, or as a family. It’s the aspirational “X” on the map of where you ideally like to land.
Vision is a Lighthouse That Keeps Your Safely on Course
In the words of the team, “Once you have a clear vision you have a lighthouse that constantly points towards where you want to go. The leadership is responsible for making sure there is a both light keeper and a captain. The keeper to ensure the light stays on and the captain steer the organization to stay on course.”
And who doesn’t need a lighthouse to steer towards? Having one illuminates a potent guideline for making decisions, “Does this make sense with my vision?”
It’s Time to Check the Light In Your Lighthouse
Fall’s turn towards doing (schools back in session, work’s gearing up, and the faint whiff of holidays) is a natural time to a check to see if your light keeper is on duty.
So you can:
- Put the wind in your sail and refocus your course to get to a landing point.
- Ensure healthy cohesion in a team as you collectively chart a course to a common landing point.
- And if needed chart a new course to get to your landing point.
Over the next three weeks I’m working with two more organizations to facilitate vision-setting retreats. Lighting lamps is a fine way to begin to usher in the start of a new season. I predict clear course ahead!
Do you have a Fall ritual of checking in to see if you vision and plan for the year is on course? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.