8.26.11 Issue #494 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Haller, P.h. D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
coach@ mckenziemgmt.com
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Do You Have Sight or Vision?
Nancy Haller, Ph.D., Leadership Coach McKenzie Management

Once upon a time there was a shoe salesman who went to Africa to scout the market. Seeing everyone bare-footed, he became discouraged and wired his manufacturer: “There’s no business here. They don’t wear shoes.” The company brought him home. Meanwhile, a competitor who was in the same region sent a message back to his organization. Excitedly he said: “This is an unbelievable opportunity. They all need shoes and no one else is selling here!”

This story illustrates the difference between sight and vision. Sight is the ability to see things as they are. Vision is the ability to see things as they could be. The way you frame your world will make all the difference in your professional and personal life. The first salesman viewed the situation through the narrow lens of his current reality, while the second person saw future opportunities.

How often do you stay on the track of “what is” rather than to challenge your initial reactions and ask “what might be?” When you only focus on the problems of your life - revenues are down, holes in the schedule, employee conflicts - you are near-sighted. You allow your vision to be obstructed by what you see now or what you believe based on past experiences.

Although the human brain is able to take a lot of helpful short-cuts, our minds often misperceive reality through the distortions of our own thinking. Once you recognize that reality is an invention that you’ve constructed, then there's no reason not to believe that you can create what you once considered impossible. 

Your belief system can be like the first salesman and impede you. Or you can think like the second man and open your world up to vast opportunities. The choice is yours. Success truly begins in your mind. As the motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said: “You must see the reaching before you reach the reaching.” 

Leadership is about thinking in new ways, about envisioning possibilities that do not yet exist. Sight without vision is dangerous because it has no hope. The question of vision is a very simple one - what do you want in your life?

Be aware of the things that are influencing you. For example, what books do you read? What words do you speak? What thoughts do you think? With whom do you spend the most time? If you’re constantly mixing with people who talk about how lousy life is, these people form the basis of your reality. Be careful about what you allow into your head because these things shape your views and eventually your vision.

Although it can be difficult for some, everyone has the capacity for vision. The problem is that most people use their vision the wrong way. They imagine what they don’t want! Here’s a quick example:

While you silently count to 10, do not think of a zebra, that horse-like animal with black and white stripes.

If you were successful in this little exercise it’s probably because you directed your mind to other possibilities. Perhaps you pictured a giraffe or an elephant. You had vision that enabled you to go beyond the obstacle of “zebra.” If you only focus on the “zebras” of your thinking, you’ll remain near-sighted.

Your beliefs inherently are the foundation of everything that happens to you in life. Rid yourself of quick judgments, fixed perspectives, and old opinions. Make room for discovery and innovation. The ability to open your thinking to different views, to connect with other people, and to shake outmoded paradigms is within you!

Challenge how modest your ambitions or aspirations are. If you are constrained by conventionality, begin by taking small risks. Go to the leadership weight room and dare to stretch the limits of your thinking. Model more explicitly the kind of practice you want. These are the basic factors that will move you from “sight” to “vision.”

Imagine what might be.
Determine what should be.
Be a part of creating what will be.

Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at coach@mckenziemgmt.com

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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