Vision is where your business is going. It’s future-focused. It should feel risky and require you and your team to learn and grow. As the leader, you must learn and grow at a faster pace than your business. You need a plan for your own personal and leadership development, or you will be the limiting factor in the growth of your business.
Who do you need to become?
Simultaneously leading in the present and preparing for the future can feel overwhelming, but it can also feel exciting. Kyle Coolbroth, a business owner and coach, recently told me to think of it like time traveling. As the leader, you need to travel back and forth between leading your team in the present and preparing yourself and your business for the future. I’ve spent the last several years navigating this paradigm, none more significant than the last 12 months.
Staying ahead of the pace of the organization’s growth doesn’t just happen. Effectively balancing your time and energy between the present and the future requires an intentional plan. So, where do you even begin? Here’s how I approach it (thanks to some help from my own coach, Kevin Jennings):
- Envision the future. Determine the competencies your role will require three years from now. Who do you need to become? Consider your own strengths and competencies, as well as areas you’ll need to develop. You may even want to search for some sample CEO job descriptions. Here are some examples to consider:
- Experimental mindset
- Assess your current state. Evaluate the gaps between your current ability and the skills you will need in the future. You can download our Skill Gap Assessment tool to capture your thoughts on the list you created in step one.
- Create your plan. Build a development plan to close the gaps. Prioritize the areas you want to focus on for learning and growth. Update and execute your plan each year. Determine how to fit this into your workload; there may be things you need to transition or delegate to others to make room for what you’re adding. Some components you could incorporate into your plan include:
- Curriculum-based leadership or business growth programs
- Peer groups
- Executive coaching
- Books or blogs
- Virtual or live courses or workshops
- Relationships you need to develop
Achieving a big vision requires you and your team to change. You can achieve that vision when you learn and grow at a faster pace than your business. By the time your business reaches your current vision, you’ll be the leader you need to be and already on your way to becoming the leader you need to be for the next big vision.