I was recently rereading materials on the essential characteristics of a Servant Leader and was challenged by a descriptive paragraph by Larry Spears in a 2010 article on the subject of Servant Leadership. Spears tell us that Servant Leaders should nurture our abilities to “dream great dreams” while managing not to lose sight of the day to day.
In my personal journey of growth and fulfillment, I have been focusing on something similar to this idea, although I have not been thinking of it terms of great dreams and details. I think of this characteristic in terms of my life being made up of two personalities. I see the two personas of my leader-self walking hand in hand throughout my journey. I have created a lovely split focused self that I actually visualize being two people with two separate consciousnesses.
Here is a vision exercise I do. In the morning when I wake, I begin by focusing and planning for my day. I close my eyes and see myself moving through the day. In my mind’s eye, I visual my two persons moving through activity after activity. One person looks far ahead down the road, around the corner, and sees possibilities. The second person stays close, alternately quickly darting from object to object and then slowing down to makes connections and solve puzzles. My first person waits for the second but not too long before she moves them both forward. Sometimes they stop together and acknowledge a shared experience. This exercise allows me to give weight to the dream big picture part of me. As I grow older, I find I need to nurture this part of me more.
I do not know what you do, nor do I know what part of the balancing act you need to focus on. Are you a big dreamer who needs to give power to your ability to accomplish your day to day action items? Or are you like me and fall deeply into the lovely safety of a long list of action items?
So what is the point of this thinking? In terms of Servant Leadership and conceptualization, I have taken a lovely couple of hours to revisit my vision and mission statements. (Last month I focused on values.) I have added thoughts and words about increased capacity and continual opportunities to my vision statement. I have added a personal/family aspect to my mission statement. In order for me to begin building those ideas into a morning visioning ritual, I will have to be deliberate with these new thoughts.
What do you do to manage the world of tomorrow and the world of the day to day? My best recommendation is simple to be aware that both areas need your attention. My best assurance is that attention can be paid to both with deliberate practice. My best success story is that when the two worlds stay in alignment and work together, life becomes abundant with opportunity.