Visioning and Mindfulness: Corporate Lessons for Personal Clarity

By Sharon Krohn, MCC. I recently had lunch with the CFO of a multi-billion-dollar global company who I had not seen in a couple of years. The last we had spent time together she had confided her frustration with her organization — with corporate leadership and the culture fraught with internal backbiting and with her prospects for continued professional growth. 

But this time she was excited and upbeat. It was apparent that she was in a very different place from when I saw her last. Something had clearly changed.  When I asked how things were going, she responded that things at work were GREAT! She explained that a year ago a new CEO was brought in to lead the company and under his leadership, EVERYTHING had changed. She called her new boss ‘The Zen CEO’, and described him as a ‘mindful leader with a vision’. He was focused on where he wanted to take the organization, and mindful of the culture wanted to create. In addition to sharing a clear vision, focus and direction, he also had brought a sense of calm to the team, increasing trust and reducing turnover. Everyone was happier, and under his direction the company was achieving record profits. 

With a clear vision and a focus on mindfulness, this CEO transformed a good company into a world class organization. Leaders can take personal lessons from this success by creating a personal vision for the way we lead and the life we lead, and use Mindfulness to help make that vision a reality.

Visioning: (Noun)
The development of a plan, goal, or vision for the future.

Mindful: (Adjective)
1. Attentive, aware, or careful
2. Noting or relating to the psychological technique of mindfulness.

I invite you into an introspective journey to create your personal vision for Leadership and Life, with a mindful exploration of your background, career and priorities. The following are key steps you might consider:

  1. Take Stock of Your Life & Career
  2. Chart you History 
  3. Find Alignment
  4. Create A Vision 
  5. Address your Fears
  6. Develop an Action plan
  7. Implement the Plan 

Take time to reflect. Notice the themes that emerge. 

Take Stock of Where You Are Today. Take a snapshot of what’s working, and what’s not working. What brings you joy. You may want to use a 360 Assessment to understand how you are viewed by bosses, peers, subordinates and others. The Leadership Circle Profile is an example of an assessment that provides rich feedback data for growth and development. 

Who do you want to be? Using the input from the 360 assessment or from feedback you have had, reflect on what kind of a leader are you today. Consider now, what kind do you want to be?

Your Background: Ask yourself, where do I come from? Chart your education and work experience. Note the watershed moments and experiences in your life and career. How do you feel right now about your situation? 

Who is Involved? Consider the relationships and people who impact your decisions. Which friends, family members, trusted partners, and mentors might you include in your vision planning? Who might provide valuable input?

What Is Calling You? What energizes you? Notice what brings you joy. What do you want to learn and how do you want to grow? Is there an avocation you want to pursue? Consider what is important to you that you have not been doing or that you would like to do more of. 

What are the Practical Realities of Life? What’s Pressing? List the timelines and deadlines that you face. What are your uncertainties? What are you worried about What makes you feel heavy?

What is most important? Name the first big things that come to mind. What do you believe in? What are your values? What matters most? 

After you have answered these questions and reflected on the data you have gathered and your responses to these questions, ask yourself the following focus question: 

What is your desired outcome of the visioning process? 

What is the pressing question you want to answer this process? For example: How can I move to the next level in my career? To a more satisfying job? Spend more time with my children? Retire with financial security?

With introspection and mindful reflection, you can achieve clarity that will enable you to craft your personal vision for the future with satisfying and rewarding result.

To learn more about how mindfulness and visioning can shape your career and your life, schedule a consultation with Sharon.