I’m happy to share this insightful guest blog from my good friend Dr. Oleg Konovalov. He is considered the number one thought leader in the world on the topic of visionary leadership. I had the great pleasure of going through his Visionary Leadership Coaching Certification Program. I learned a ton. Subsequently, I asked him to put this together to share some of his ideas on how to think about vision.
Millions of businesses are meaningless, and they are dying as insects because leaders are not thinking about making their businesses meaningful.
The difference between meaningless and meaningful, and valuable for you and others, is vision. If you have no vision for your business, then you have no real purpose.
Here We Have a Serious Problem.
We are living in a time of leadership blindness. Less than 0.1% of modern leaders have vision. At best, the vast majority are only pretending. They are hiding behind statements, wishes, financial reports, and personal ambitions.
The greatness of your vision defines the greatness of your success. And as a result, gives you the ability to make a team of visionaries who will multiply your vision.
I get asked most often when coaching my clients on vision and visionary leadership or when speaking about how to think vision. There are three key elements to be considered when thinking vision – value creation, closing a mind-lag, and believing that you are a visionary as well.
Vision is Value Creation for Others.
Vision is not a statement drafted during a board meeting. It is a multidimensional space in the future that we create.
Vision is an aspiration for the future that we strive to make a reality today. Vision is a future reality created today for the benefit of others. Vision comes when your conscious awareness of a problem you want to solve for the benefit of others reaches its peak.
Here I always ask three simple questions:
- For whom would your vision be important? Whose pain do you want to solve?
- Does it merit your full commitment?
- By implementing your vision how would the world change? What would make the world different from your vision being implemented?
Vision is based on a value we create for others. Your vision will become a super magnet for people if you have meaningful answers to these questions and they are worth turning into a reality. If you have difficulty answering these questions meaningfully, this is just a project or idea that demands deep refining.
One of the most significant challenges when helping a team to become visionaries is a mind-lag.
When we travel across continents, we know we need to recover from jet lag. When we begin to develop a vision, we mentally travel in time, from the present into the future, and need to consider mind lag, the difference between the present state of mind and one which is sufficient for the future we envision. Having vision means closing this mind gap towards the future.
Effective acting is a result of effective thinking about the future. Visionary leadership is about future thinking. This defines their mindset.
We can look at this from a different angle – The past consists of impressions and facts, yet to be forgotten. The past doesn’t have energy behind it. The present is who we are today and what energy we have accumulated so far. It will be wasted if not directed into completing the greater goals.
The future is about where and how we will use this accumulated energy. A vision defines where all your energy needs to be directed.
Think about the future as all the answers to your today’s questions are there.
You are a visionary
We all have visionary traits to a greater or lesser extent. We tend to silence them. Consequently, we don’t utilize these qualities if we don’t believe we have them.
There are fifteen traits that all visionaries have in common. For instance:
- They talk solutions, not problems. They thrive by finding answers. This is their passion. Visionaries are well aware of problems everyone else talks about. They just don’t waste time talking about them except in the context of trying to find solutions.
- Visionaries use the mind for its primary purpose, for deep thinking and developing ideas. They keep their mind free from irrelevant information rather than polluting it with nonsense.
- Visionaries manage energy, not time. For visionaries, time is not a critical reference point. Instead, energy utilized and value created are more important.
It doesn’t take long to develop these traits – between two to four months. Six months is for these traits to be firmly imprinted.
When you expect people to improve, they will think about the extra 1% and will think only about today and tomorrow. When you give them a capacity to think a few years into the future, they become the masters of the future who act beyond themselves.
We calculated ROI for visionary coaching and training with my clients – 3000%. Furthermore, wisdom always pays the highest return.