RHG Magazine & TV Guide Spring 2018 - Page 23

RHG Magazine & TV Guide TM - Spring 2018 © All rights reserved.

Growing a Thriving Movement Through Leadership

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. - Warren Bennis

Have you ever wondered how great leaders grow a movement? I know I have. How did Dr. Martin Luther King or John F. Kennedy or Susan B. Anthony or Gloria Steinem develop thriving movements?

Well, they all started with a vision - the ability to see a new, better way for things to be – and believing in the result they could envision so passionately, that they stepped into leadership to translate their vision into reality.

What is it that you are passionate about and want to see improved in the world Whether it be civil rights, animal rights, women’s rights, reducing poverty, increasing literacy, making your community more beautiful or fighting ageism, around the world or around the corner … if it speaks to your passion and your purpose, it is a worthwhile endeavor.

How a thriving movement begins....

I think of growing a movement like growing a garden. When you see a garden in full bloom or fruit, it’s lush and healthy and you get to enjoy the scent of the roses or pick a ripe avocado that will be part of your dinner. Of course, in order for that garden to

thrive there were several actions that the gardener needed to do, starting with the seed of an idea of what it would look like.

Early spring, as the snows begin to melt and the temperatures to rise, is the time to plan the garden. Taking that idea, the gardener starts to envision the result she wants to see - colors, scents, purpose (what will be produced, for whom it is being created), variety of species, etc.

The vision is where you are heading

Once you know what change you feel inspired and impassioned to make - the “seed” of your idea - then start to develop a vision for the movement, by imagining what the result will look like, not how you’ll get there (for now) but what it can become. Write your vision statement, which will be the underpinning for your journey to a thriving movement, by following these 4 steps.

1. This is the time for personal reflection. You need to go deep into your core to bring up what your values are, and how they translate into your movement. They will become the passion, purpose and clarity you’ll need to carry you through any challenges you may face.

2. Look at your own strengths – are they in writing, speaking, inspiring people, raising money, taking photographs? The gardener considers what she has to work with to create her garden, i.e., soil, water availability, wind protection, her own ability to work the land, perhaps CA natives or certain species of fruit will thrive better than others and still get the desired results she envisions.

Tip: If recognizing your strengths does not come easily to you, then talk to the people who know you best – close friends, family, trusted colleagues. They will definitely have insight into areas of strength to which you are blind.

3. Then create that mental picture. Allow your imagination to run free, picturing all possibilities! Get specific so you can really give energy to it and get a clear picture of what you want to accomplish.

As an example, here is what I see in the movement that I am growing: I see a vision of being in an intimate retreat with women who know they are meant to bring big change to the world and want the blueprint to make it happen. I also see myself standing on a stage before a standing-room-only crowd, passionately speaking on my movement.

4. Embed your vision into all five senses. This is a powerful step that really engrains the vision into your subconscious so that it is out there looking for opportunities for you. Through the mental picture you are writing down, answer:

“What do you see?” Picture the change you want to see - even gather pictures that represent what that looks like. Keep them with you to refer to and inspire you every day. When I was working to earn the reward of a cruise to Alaska, I had photos of the ship and maps of the route we would take everywhere - mirrors, screensavers, doors, in the car!

“What do you hear?” The gardener may imagine birds twittering in the shrubs or the ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ of people touring the property. I had the John Denver song Alaska and me as my cellphone ringtone (don’t laugh - it worked, I won the trip!).

“What do you taste and smell?” Georgia peaches for the gardener, cedar-smoked salmon for me. Get creative - what would it be for your movement vision?

“What do you feel?” This is a beautiful one for impassioned change. Awe for the amazing people who have come together to work with you; satisfaction in the fruits of your labors; happy faces and love from the people whose lives you influenced?

Then leadership come in

But is a strong vision enough? No, this is where leadership comes in - as Warren Bennis says, “translating vision into reality.”

Back to our garden metaphor, the beautiful garden is a result of the gardener’s work of preparing the soil, buying the seedlings, planting, weeding, watering consistently, deadheading, pruning, harvesting - you get the idea!

Your vision is only the first step in creating a thriving garden or business or movement. Now it’s time to call in your power, those strengths you have identified, and get more specific about the roadmap you will follow to create this movement.

As you further develop your vision statement, here are three tips to bring the “THRIVE” into it:

Include specific goals, what you would like to achieve over this next year; how you want to be known by others who are involved in the movement with you.

Ensure that the end result reflects your core values and identify how they align with your life’s purpose.

Consider how you want your future to be regarding health, wealth, relationships, family, spirit. Ensure that your vision brings balance and focus to these areas.

"A garden requires patient labor and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfill good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them." - Liberty Hyde Bailey

Just as a garden requires effort and attention, so do your vision and the leadership activities that will take you forward. A clear, aligned, powerful vision statement will create a strong foundation for all your efforts to grow a thriving movement and impact others in a global way!

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