Recently I attended a forum featuring keynote speaker Jeff Henderson. As Jeff began to speak, he shared he had worked in marketing at Chik-Fil-A. Today, Jeff pastors a church in the Atlanta area and wanted to take this opportunity to challenge the audience on the importance and power of vision. He spoke about his admiration for the Coca-Cola Corporation and their all-inclusive passion for “sugar water.” He asked the question, “Does Coke have more vision for sugar water than your organization does for your mission?” I’d like to narrow the focus and ask this question another way. Does Coke have more vision for sugar water than you do for your mission? Here are a five ways to know:

  1. How do you invest your time? No one else will believe in your mission with the same vigor as you, and your time should be a reflection of that. Are you energized by your mission or must you incorporate outside interests to find fulfillment?
  1. What do those closest to you reflect? What is their passion? A strong mission and vision should be caught by those you lead. Has your team caught your vision?
  1. Does your team measure organizational investment by time or accomplishment? Is getting the job done the highest priority to your team? In other words, is finishing the job more important than clocking out at the end of the day?
  1. Do you wake up excited about what the day will bring? Is this still fun? Your team and customers will recognize your excitement and follow suit. Do you still love it?
  1. Do you drink your own sugar water? Do you believe in your product so much that you are willing to go out of your way to get it? When I was growing up, my mom worked as Risk Manager for a regional chain of convenience stores. I vividly remember us driving out of our way, past the competitors, to shop at one of her company’s stores. Do you believe in it so much that you’re willing to be inconvenienced on your way to the convenience store?
If, after answering these questions, you think you have lost some of the spark you once had, here are a few ways to help reignite the passion for your vision.
  1. Start with you! You set the atmosphere and culture of your team. Get rested, get inspired, and get positive so your team can do the same.
  1. Revisit the “why.” Why are you doing this? What is the purpose that ignited passion in your heart at the beginning? Remembering why you started will quite often motivate you to keep going.
  1. Start drinking the sugar water again. Even if you feel like you lost the passion you once had, you can get it back. The best way to do that is to regain focus and commit yourself.
  1. Get help. Now would be a great time to reach out to your mentors and your coach. Ask for help and guidance. These people are important voices in your life because you can be transparent with them in a way you cannot be with your team. Take advantage of these relationships and seek counsel.
  1. At the right time, share the journey with a select few on your team. Share this journey with a small number of people and let them catch the vision and passion as well. It’s only a matter of time before the rest of the team catches it as well.
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