Everything seemed so promising at first. There was energy and planning. Everyone had a sense of shared vision.
That sounds invigorating. What’s the problem?
I think I built a team of dreamers when I should have built a team of doers.
That’s a problem.
Dreaming is good. Working is good. One without the other is bad.
Seeing clearly (vision) is often half the problem. Having the will to do it (volition) is the other half. – Michael Novak
While it is critical to have visionaries on the team, even leading the team, it is imperative that the team also have pragmatists who execute and hold others accountable.
Every leadership team needs to have both vision and volition.
Vision is seeing a compelling future in focus.
Vision provides clarity of purpose and establishes a guiding track of direction. It draws leaders toward a dream that is so realistic that others fall in behind them to join the quest. Leaders are not driven to pursue a vision, they are drawn to it.
They can’t help themselves.
For these leaders, their vision is more of a conversation around destiny than it is dedication.
Volition is embracing the reality of having no choice.
Sure, leaders get tired and discouraged. Sure, there are days when they would prefer to roll over, pull the covers up and stay in bed.
But when you ask great leaders why they work so hard at accomplishing their vision, they will usually squint a little, tilt their head and look at you with a bit of confusion and reply with the resignation of a five-year-old.
Because. I have to.
Where do leaders get this level of motivation? How do they develop this strong will to press on?
We have all had the wise sages in our lives tell us the old adage:
You don’t have a vision. A vision has you.
Once you are gripped by that compelling vision with clarity, you thrive on action – even when you’re tired. You act out of a sense of duty and responsibility, not guilt or powerlessness.
When you are captured by your vision you still move forward. Like a passionate runner, you put on your shoes even though it’s dark, cold and raining outside. You know how it will feel when you’re done and you honestly believe that it is the right thing to do.
You have no choice. And you like that.