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The Leadership Lighthouse

“Let’s go back to the very beginning, a wonderful place to start.” Whether it is building a successful business, leading a successful start up, or achieving personal success, all of these begin with a successful foundation. While there are many different means and methods to achieve the desired end results, none of these can be measured as successful without an end goal in mind. How can you set a goal if you don’t know what you want to achieve? You can’t. Even if you’re not sure what you want to achieve, guiding principles allow for a framework to be set that serves as a beacon to navigate you towards your goals. Much like a lighthouse navigates ships to safety, this so-called “leadership lighthouse” would be your mission, vision, and values, the three components that allow safe and effective navigation towards one’s goals.

Have a mission…

While a mission can be incredibly vague “To serve customers,” or incredibly specific “To serve customers, especially those who come in for the noon lunch rush and love double shots of espresso,” a strong mission falls somewhere in the middle. It ultimately provides direction that should encapsulate anything and everything you or your organization does. It answers the following questions:

-What am I ultimately trying to accomplish through my work?

-How am I trying to get there?

-Who am I trying to impact?

A good mission is like the coxswain of a rowboat: if everyone is rowing out of sync and in different directions, the boat will go nowhere. If everyone follows the coxswain and rows together in the same direction.... see you in first place at the finish line.

To guide your vision...

When you were a child, did you see yourself being an astronaut? Rock star? Celebrity? And how did you see yourself getting there? Writing a song for all the rock fans? Becoming famous in the scientific community?

This same idea holds true for your current vision:

-Where do you see yourself in 1 month, 1 year, 10 years?

-What kind of person do you foresee yourself being?

-What’s the ideal world for you and those you’re trying to impact?

This is your vision, or where you see yourself ending up in the long haul.

While following your values.

Our values are what ultimately guide our actions, what lay the foundation for everything we choose to do in life. Without values, we have nothing to base our decisions off of, and cannot even start to define our mission and vision. If I value integrity, I should not be doing shady business deals off the books; if I value honesty, I should not lie to make a deal; if I value confidence, I should not shy away from situations, as uncomfortable as they may be.

Have a mission to guide your vision while following your values.

By understanding our mission, vision, and values, where they come from, and why they are important, it is possible to establish goals that truly reflects one’s personal character. Anchored in place by these three vital pieces, it is possible to achieve more than one ever could think of achieving, shining a light that gives a pathway directly towards one’s goals.

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