If you’re going the make a difference, you have to develop a vision for your own life and how to bring the best of yourself to serve others — and more than likely, you’ll need others to help you pull it off.
Perhaps you’ve tried to take your vision to the world only to have it crushed, or maybe you just couldn’t get traction on it. Maybe, you gave up and settled, though that decision never actually settled with you. I get it. It’s easy to get lost in the complexity of trying to bring your gifts to the world.
When I think about when I’ve been most successful, it’s times where I’m developing my vision with a strong focus on inclusion and communication. Bringing others into my vision caused it to expand and improve. It also became their vision as well so that I formed a virtual team. This was not just helpful. It was absolutely the key to the success.
Over the last year or so, inclusion became harder to execute at the scale and complexity of my efforts and I failed to find ways to practice it well. I’ve woken up to see how dramatically that has impacted our endeavor. So, it’s time to set intention to fix this. It’s never too late and my focus toward success this year will deep dive into inclusion.
Do you need to focus on inclusion and communication in your vision too?
Maybe you don’t see the value or you don’t think it’s possible. Maybe, you’re thinking, I’m an individual contributor or I’m not a leader — I don’t have a team. Maybe, you think it will slow you down or mess you up or dilute your vision.
A core belief that I have picked up from Zig Ziglar is, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Earl Nightingale helped me see that we live in a highly interdependent world where we are served by huge industries all made of people — I tell people that struggle with seeing this reality to imagine brushing their teeth completely on their own (make your own toothpaste and toothbrush).
Self-sufficiency is good in one sense but who really wants to take a journey on their own? Not me. Growing up, I moved a lot and never attended a school for two consecutive years. It helped me learn to quickly embrace relationships but left me without the experience of deep, long-held friendships. Our independence often robs us of the value of community, friendship, partnership.
All-in-all, I’ve been most successful when I include others in my life, work, and vision — and I want to pursue this more fully. Others push you to succeed more, encourage you when the going is rough, enrich the experience, inspire valuable insights that make success possible, fill in gaps in your own skills and interests, add diverse points of view and so much more.
Who should be on your team? There are three groups I encourage you to explore. I call this a Virtual ABC Team
A. Affinity – First, Who can I invite to take this journey with me. Who can help me and who can I help as we take this journey together?
B. Bilateral – Second, consider people taking a similar journey in a different field or context. These people have shared and different knowledge and experiences. You can learn best practices and encourage one another without worrying about conflict of interest.
C. Challenge – Third, consider those that have objections to your vision but are reasonable and open to conversation. These people can help you expand your vision to overcome objections that will prevent the vision from reaching all it can be.
Using this Virtual ABC Team framework has helped me foster inclusion, build effective teams, and achieve so much more as a result. Over the next few posts, I’ll dig deeper into how this can help you leverage the power of inclusion and cover some traps I’ve learned that deteriorated my focus.
You may not think you can use this model but anybody can use it. To get started, answer the following questions?
ABC Team Definition Questionnaire
1. What is my future goal and vision?
2. Who are three people that could help me and that would mutually be excited about taking this journey with me? How will the synergies of our unique abilities make success more likely? What will I do to bring value to these relationships? When will I setup these meetings?
3. Who are three people in similar or other industries that would be great to catch up with and would probably like to discuss this with me? What specifically would I like to discuss with them? What will I do to bring value to these relationships? When will I setup these meetings?
4. Who are three people that are likely to challenge me but are reasonable and we share enough rapport to discuss my vision? What do I imagine their objections will be? How will I have the conversation and consider their feedback without objection or damage to the relationship? What will I do to bring value to these relationships? When will I setup these meetings?
5. What outcomes may arise if I develop this team?
If all this makes sense to you — I encourage you to make it practice as well. Set your intention to learn, be excited about having a team, and watch your vision and goals become more rich and more real.
Try it out and let me know if I can help. Share your efforts with me — I’d really like to hear about your experience.
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