It’s evident when the camera zooms in just after the putt drops into the cup. It’s that twinkle in the eye of the golfer. It’s a mixture of focus, confidence and execution. When a golfer is in the zone, the hole seems larger, the stroke seems smoother, and the path of the ball is true. That’s what it’s like for a professional to be in the zone. It’s not limited to golf.
Leaders can be in the zone too.
A good putt requires alignment. Alignment is a visionary process. When a golfer is in the zone, he or she expects the putt to drop. When you are in the zone, you are able to envision each rotation of the ball as it moves closer to the goal. If you could project your vision onto a movie screen, it would be an advance screening of the ball slowly rotating forward until it disappears into the cup.
Can you visualize your leadership in those terms? Are you moving in the proper direction? Your vision should capture your imagination. Your actions should advance your life on the proper path. Align each day with what is most important in your life and your organization.
True vision always tells a story. Fundamentally, it answers the question, “Where are we going?” Your vision has to be more than words on a page. Everyone you lead will know when it is and when it is not. When the story is real it has depth, meaning and emotion. It captures hearts as well as minds. It pulls others into the story. Vision is the glue that holds “we” in the “Where are we going?”
Leading in the zone begins with a clear vision with enough clarity to provide confident alignment of your attitude and actions.
It requires intentional action
It’s possible to stand over a putt too long. You can never live out your vision without moving forward. A clear vision will help you overcome a fear of failure. A clear vision will help you break free from the status quo. Vision helps. Vision is essential. But, don’t confuse vision with action. Sooner or later you have to move.
Leadership in the zone is about moving toward your vision through intentional action. Just as golfers have a consistent routine, leaders must practice disciplined movement. Busyness is never a substitute for intentional action. Measure your movement with a credible standard. Do your actions move you toward your vision? Are you investing in activity that will create positive momentum in the proper direction?
Create positive momentum through intentional action. Be mindful of vision, intentional about alignment and create resonance with your team.
It’s a team sport
Leadership in the zone is about others. Success brings great temptation. Perhaps no temptation is greater than pride. When you are in the zone, you are not alone. You never find your zone without a supporting cast. Acknowledge the cast before, during and after success.
Three words will remind you to savor your leadership zone together: celebration, gratitude and humility. Make sure you celebrate together. Enjoy the journey. Share gratitude liberally. Be generous in your praise of others. Stay humble in times of success. Don’t allow pride to blind you.
At InitiativeOne we help leaders clarify personal and organizational vision so that vision is more than a plaque on the wall. We will show you how to create a culture where intentional actions are the norm. Learn more about how to find your zone through Leadership Transformation.
photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/34723406@N07/3471394890