A fuzzy vision

I’m very fortunate to be on the CELF leadership course (Community & Enterprise Leadership Foundation – in conjunction with the Waikato Management School).

Sure the pandemic has delayed the completion of the course but thanks to Tania Witheford and Peter Sun, we’re keeping learning through webinars etc.

Last week we got to hear Dr Chellie Spiller’s talk about her Wayfinder leadership framework. This was a fascinating insight into how we can learn leadership by understanding navigators who led the great migrations across the pacific.

One point really hit home – her concept of letting the island find you.

I won’t be presumptuous and try to explain this concept (after listening to the original author, how could I compete?) but it certainly did get me thinking.

We’ve become very regimented about goals and purpose. They need to be clearly defined and measured before you even start the journey. Chasing the goal needs to be linear, following a course, again set before the journey starts.

This works for small goals but is it the best method for breaking through and doing something massive and/or new?

If you’re setting off to explore what is beyond the horizon, you can’t describe something no one has ever seen before. You may intend to travel in a straight line but how do you know that there aren’t hidden dangers or opportunities ahead?

Current thinking is that you will head NNE until you come across a deserted island, 3 miles around and covered in scrub. So if you’re blown 2 degrees off course and find a continent laden in gold – you have in fact failed.

I’ve had that ‘itch’ for a while now – that I can’t accurately describe where I want to end up by following my current course. What I want to see happen. I have felt uncomfortable with the need to bore down and clarify my goals, it almost feels like I’m a failure because I simply can’t do it.

I found some work by Stephen Shedletzky that gave me hope I’m not alone with my thinking (see below). Friday’s session has really reinforced it. My course has zig zagged quite a bit over the last few years – and I hope that continues. My head can’t paint a picture of my destination but my heart can talk about it for hours.

A world where business supports community

“Idealistic it’s not about becoming the biggest, the best or number one. It’s not about reaching some arbitrary revenue target, even if it is huge. It is about pursuing something that is infinite – for all intents and purposes you will not ever attain it. It is, indeed, a vision and not a goal. And as you make progress toward that better future state you imagine, you will be able to feel and measure your momentum. A Just Cause is an ideal. It is something so noble that we would be willing to devote our lives and careers toward advancing it. And, when our careers are over, the Just Cause can live on and serve to inspire further progress; that can be our legacy.”

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