Do you have a clear leadership vision for those you are leading?
Before my father died (right before his forty-second birthday), I remember a family trip that we took traveling through the southeast United States. We began in North Carolina, traveled to Georgia, then to Florida, back up into Alabama, then into Mississippi, down to New Orleans in Louisiana, then back up into Mississippi again, on up into Tennessee, then back home to the foothills of North Carolina.
This adventure was a great trip. All five members of the family went along for the whole ride. This vacation was not just a trip it was a journey. There is a big difference between a trip and a journey.
- Trip = excursion, outing, jaunt. A trip is somewhat quick.
- Journey = an act or instance of traveling from one place to another. Example: The journey from youth to maturity. That type of travel is an expedition. An expedition takes time.
There is obviously a big difference between a “trip” and a “journey.” A trip can be brief and short lived, but a journey takes much more time. In the vacation journey, I remember from my youth, I can recall that my mother thought well in advance of how she would feed our family on this journey. We could have stopped at every fast food joint on the way, but I recall eating breakfast in the morning at many rest areas along the way. My parents had packed a portable gas grill along with a large ice chest. Inside that ice chest was the bacon, eggs, milk, orange juice, and all the fixings for a “homemade” breakfast. After all, this was not a trip this was a journey.
A journey suggests that a considerable amount of time and distance will be covered and that the travel will take time. Remember, a short, casual trip for pleasure or recreation is a jaunt but a journey is an excursion. A journey is like an expedition. It could be defined as a pilgrimage with a purpose. But one thing is certain; someone who has an expedition in mind puts a journey together. When defining the “vision” for your team or organization, it is necessary for you to see it as a journey rather than “trip.”
Trips are taken for brief pleasure sometimes no more than a day or two. It is like taking the kids to an amusement park for the day and heading back home that night. Journeys are much more detailed and lengthy. It is like crossing the continent or taking a rocket to the moon and back. It cannot be rushed or hurried.
One of the worst things that can happen for those who are trying to cast a vision is for that leader to cast it in a hurry and to make it quick and brief. Casting a vision calls for detailed journey planning. A true leadership vision cannot be grown quickly and overnight. Visions are intended to develop within those who are on the journey together.
I have been on many quick trips in my life, but one of the trips that I will never forget is that journey I took when I was 16 years old traveling the Southeast of United States with my brother, sister, mom, and dad. It was thought out, planned and shared together.
Do you have a clear leadership vision for your team members?
Make your “vision” a journey for your team and they will never forget it!