Sunday, February 22, 2015

Goals and Visions - The Danger of Abstractness

Anything visual is perhaps the biggest call for action. Ideas are abstract. Similarly big goals that cannot be conceived become abstract. It struck me when I read Simon Sinek's book 'Leaders Eat Last' where he talks of how we as people are visual, that perhaps this concept could be the clue to all goal setting and visualisation that could bring in concrete results.
Hyderabad? I can see far as that tree and no more.
Reaching for a distant goal can disorient us because we don't know where to go and how. Go to Delhi from Hyderabad - I don't know what Delhi looks like. But let us say we are shown a limited path along the way, lets say a hill on the horizon, and we are asked to move to that direction, its easier to act. We can see the goal, judge the difficulty and know that all that is missing is the effort from my side.

Visual and tangible goals can motivate people to act
Seeing the goal can thus be the first motivator to act. Many of us perhaps cannot vision the entire path but we can be motivated to reach the part that is visible. So one visible screen to another, we can move ahead, and as we move we can correct the path if necessary. The job of breaking down the big vision and presenting visible and tangible goals then becomes the key job of the leader.

Its like driving the car at night. Our vision is limited to the distance we can see and we drive that much forward and then a bit more and then some more until we go all the way. If we see nothing at first step, we might not go forward.

To use this idea in goal setting, especially for a team, it is perhaps important to keep the goals visual and tangible, something that can be seen. A building, a smile on the customer's face, a road that is ad out, people using the road - stuff that can show the team what they are working for. That becomes the measure for them then. They can judge the result, the effort required and get involved. Visuals are almost everything in goal setting.

Incremental screens in visualisations could help
In the other aspect of creation, where visualisation comes into play, one can start with visualising small, incremental changes in the vision. Let's say I want to buy a new car, It makes no sense for me to start imagining the most expensive car available because my mind may just skip the whole thing. But what is possible really? At this stage? Perhaps a new small car? A second hand big car? Now it appears tangible. It fits into my vision, my belief system. In that manner its better to recalibrate our existing life by one notch, create those realities and then recalibrate again. the key is to recalibrate often until it becomes second nature. All growth and improvement becomes second nature.

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