Too often we believe that a title gives us permission to be a leader. Those of us without the title wait for instructions from the anointed one. And then we wait for his or her blessings to be bestowed upon us for doing a good job.
From another perspective, is there a reason each of us does not wake up in the morning knowing we are the leaders of our lives and reputations. To do that, requires a vision. Without a vision, we go through lifewaiting to see how things turn out. A vision, on the other hand, serves as a guiding light. It keeps us focused on a goal that empowers us in the face of anything.
I once heard of a woman who took leadership into her own hands. In her job, she had the title of receptionist. Yet, when she encountered people, she shook the person’s hand with unquestionable confidence and introduced herself as the chief of first impressions. In her mind, she was in charge of the first impression that people would get when they called or walked into the office. She stood for giving the best and most powerful first impression and she was in charge of that.
In reality, to be responsible for the company’s first impression is a big job. However, it is likely that most people with the title of receptionist see it as a job that just pays the bills.
At the same time, if the receptionist can see how important his or her job is to the rest of the organization, it should be clear that a sales person, project manager, accountant, designer, etc., should see the significance of their job also. Each title is responsible for first impressions. And each job is responsible for providing leadership with the most effective results.
While providing leadership in your job function is powerful, it is not enough. Do you have a vision? Is that vision aligned with the corporation’s vision? If you are not sure, it’s your responsibility to understand how your job connects to the corporate vision. Once you understand the relationship between the 2, you choose the kind of person you have to become to fulfill your vision.
Creating a vision for yourself is an extraordinary way of reinventing yourself. While it should not be something that is unrealistic, it should be something that stretches you beyond what you currently know how to accomplish. Furthermore, a powerful vision requires you to include others to fulfill it.
With this kind of attitude towards your career, it becomes easy to see how others will view you as a leader. When you are seen as a leader, opportunities open up to you. If you observe carefully, you will see that life if full of opportunities waiting to be discovered. Instead of living a life that has you wait to see what happens, lead a life that constantly explores new and sometimes uncomfortable opportunities.
In addition, the idea of having a vision is not limited to your career. Your relationships with friends, family and significant other need a vision. Otherwise, you could be going through the motions. Having a vision is a way to live your life on purpose, instead of waiting to discover your purpose.
If you don’t have a vision, today is the perfect day to create one and live in to it day by day.
What do you think? I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, let me know what it is.