Get it?! 2020...vision…
Okay, I can’t take credit for that gem. Mike Yarbrough over at Wolf and Iron has already dubbed 2020 the Year of Vision. But, I like where he is going with that, even tongue in cheek as it might be.
If we are hoping to move forward in any aspect of our lives, it helps to have a vision of where we want to end up. Why are we doing it? What do we hope to achieve? What will come after this next step, season, challenge? What better time to start casting that vision that at the start of a new year? We get a chance to reflect on where we came from in the previous twelve months and the opportunity to dream about what the new year might bring. Check out this episode from Season 1 to hear us talk about looking back to move forward.
Vision is an important part of the operation of any team moving out on a mission, even if that is a team of one - just you. On the podcast this week, we got to speak with our good friend Nate Allen on how important collaboratively casting a vision is to keeping an organization aligned and in agreement with their mission, and how a properly laid out vision allows leaders to motivate and inspire the team to accomplish said mission. In a conversation Nate and I got to have while trying (for months, sorry Jon!) to set up the podcast, he put that into the context of a family unit:
I am a leader in my home. As we talked about on the podcast, we are all leaders in some capacity, and the wake we leave is integral to the development of the people we are put in authority over, for good or for ill. If we want to become the kind of transformative, “3rd generational” leaders that Nate talks about, we need to align our family with the vision for who we are as we journey through life. As an example, chores aren’t done just “because I said so.” Instead they are done as a part of moving our family forward in our mission and vision. So I haven’t tasked my son with mowing the lawn because the lawn needs to get mowed, I have tasked him with mowing the lawn because we want our home to be an inviting, safe space for people to enter and do life with us. By mowing the lawn, my son has the opportunity to enter into that mission (relax, I’m speaking hypothetically...he’s six years old, he’s not in charge of mowing the lawn! That’s his younger sister’s job!).
So what is your vision for the coming year? Where do you want to go during the next 12 months? Do you have goals for yourself individually? For your family? For your team at work? Is there something from 2019 that you want to be different this year? Is there something you always wanted to do and it’s finally time to move from dream to reality? What about the bigger picture - how much time have you spent thinking about the overall arc of your story? A lot of times we get caught in the weeds of the daily and lose sight of where we are headed. Morgan Snyder at Ransomed Heart likes to say “live in the day but measure in the decade.” Do you have the perspective to look back over the last decade to really measure the changes? Do you have the vision to plot out what your mission objectives look like for the next ten years?
We are in the middle of doing a bit of both in our house. We have finally started to put words to a family mission statement, which has been gestating in our hearts for awhile now. We have been involving the kids, as much as they can be for their ages, and it has been messy. But my wife and I both want to be able to have a final product that everyone has had a hand in crafting, so that everyone has some level of buy-in to who our family is and how that shows up in what we do and how we do it.
We also try to spend some time thinking and praying about the year to come. We have gotten into the tradition of going away for a long-weekend at the beginning of the year (actually, the very tail end of December this year) to unplug from our normal lives, have some fun, and take a minute to pause and reflect. We pray for words for the year for ourselves and our marriage and our kids. We think about what the next year might look like. Are there any big changes that might be heading our way, or changes in course that we need to make? What are we nervous or excited about?
I’m not trying to walk you through either of those processes, there are lots of resources out there for doing both. Do some quick Googling, pick a few that seem to resonate with you, and commit to some time engaging your heart in casting a vision for the future. It probably won’t all come out in one sitting, but that’s okay. Part of the beauty of this journey called life is that we get to course correct and try new things. But we need to step out first before we can know what needs to get fixed. So take a small step. And then another. Let us know how it goes!
(And by the way, if you haven’t listened to our episode with Nate yet, you need to go check it out! We have more to come from him over the next few weeks, which you will not want to miss. And if you have listened to it, go back and listen to it again. He’s got so much knowledge and passion around the area of leadership and leader training, it’s impossible to not pick up new things each time. I’ve listened to it twice now and I’ve heard something new each time - and I was there for the conversation! Not to mention he drops the names of about 10-15 authors on the subject, so there is quite the reading list to be had if you’re interested.)
Welcome to 2020 brothers! Let’s make it great together!