When we’re in CRISIS, we’re forced to pay attention to what isn’t working and fix it right away as a matter of sheer survival. But what if we didn’t have to be in a crisis mode to create transformation?
Unfortunately, many leaders are so busy, inundated with initiatives, projects, tasks on a day-to-day basis, that they don’t invest the time to really think, dream and envision how to MAKE THINGS BETTER for their team, even though they’d often like to.
That means that planning for the future, making improvements, and taking the “next steps” often happen as a matter of necessity (when something “breaks”) rather than as a part of an intentional “dreaming” process.
But how much better is it for leaders and for their teams to be PROACTIVE, rather than REACTIVE?
We do an exercise with our leaders in the Coach Approach to Leadership program during the “Achieve” phase.
The exercise is an invitation to DREAM.
We ask leaders to suspend any of their practical ideas around what’s possible. Any limitations, or “we can’t do this because of that” thoughts, have to be held off to the side and not taken into account for just a few minutes of dreaming. No constraints of logic, what’s cost-effective, what’s time-efficient, or what seems possible or impossible.
They ask themselves questions like:
– What do I really want for my organization as a whole?
– What could be better for clients?
– What could be better for me as a leader? For my team?
– What would be more meaningful for my sphere of influence and community?
Leaders literally create their own DREAM List.
This exercise inspires leaders to get excited again. It sparks creativity that wouldn’t show up unless they stepped out of the current limitations long enough to get a glimpse of the future they want to create.
Here’s a couple of examples of what leaders have come up with as a result of this exercise…
“This makes me think that I actually want to redefine our ideal customer.” He created a new definition for their target customers, so that future marketing and new client projects would be considered through a different lens.
“I would like to have employees who are skilled and trained to do a really great job, but there isn’t a lot of skilled labor in the local industry and the market.” She plans to start an apprenticeship program so that the company can grow their own talent.
These are leaders who are extremely busy, who may not have typically had the time or motivation to challenge the status quo that was “kind of” working. But they took a few minutes to step out of the grind to DREAM.
You can, too.
Not only does dreaming make teams and organizations better…it re-inspires leaders in the process.
If you want access to more sample exercises, tips and strategies like this one, sign up for our newsletter here where we share FREE coaching tips for leaders…