Have you ever had a vision about a work project or a new initiative or training that you shared with others and no one understood your vision or saw a need/purpose for your particular idea?
Maybe they didn’t like the idea but hit you with the fake support? You know the I don’t agree with it but if you need help I am here. If you have experienced this, you know exactly what I am talking about. If you haven’t, just wait it is bound to happen at some point of your leadership journey. Your vision will be too innovative, or no one will see the benefit of it because it hasn’t been done before. From their perspective it will be waste of time and resources.
Initially when someone isn’t on board with your idea, it can be taken personally or make you feel some type of way. The emotions you feel can range from mad, sad, angry, disappointment and in some cases, it can make you feel unsure of yourself and what you bring to the table as a leader or an expert in your field. It happened to me, I had the idea to train employees about deploying (doing our job in an overseas location for six months) to expose them to the possibility even though it would be a while before they actually deployed. I presented the idea to a peer at a higher level than me within my career field and she did not support it from the beginning. She told me she didn’t see a need for it because none of my employees have the opportunity to deploy. Then she hit me with the I don’t see the need or purpose for it, but I will help you where I can.
I know you are thinking Sis, she was willing to support you even though she didn’t believe in it. What was the problem? To be honest, I didn’t want someone helping me who was waiting for me to be fail. What is the point in that? All support isn’t good support Sis. However, I did take her up on her offer but when the time came she was unavailable to attend due to a work trip. I believe everything worked out the way it was supposed to.
Here is what I did to carry out a vision that only I could see.
- I wrote my vision and plan down. I drafted my agenda and the purpose for each topic down long before I had the people and resources lined up to help me carry it out.
(Habakkuk 2:2-3(MSG) And then God answered: “Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.)
- Trust God. I knew that if God gave me the vision it was supposed to be carried out. Even if I looked crazy in my pursuit to make it happen.
(Joshua 1:9 (NIV) Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”)
- Walk in It. Although my colleague did not agree with me, I stood firm in my purpose to provide the training and my passion to deliberately develop the individuals who will eventually fill the roles in a deployed environment.
4. Use your Circle of Trust. I used my “Circle of Trust” to vent, to talk through my thoughts and to get their insight and ideas on my plan and to celebrate my successes.
5. Build your network. There were a couple of people that I needed to make the training a success as they were subject matter experts in their field and the deployment process. These two people jumped at the idea to help because it was a different and they saw the value in it(on of them is a fellow reader of this blog). Always make sure you are building relationships.
6. Step back and watch it work. As everything fell into place it was amazing to see it all work out. The training was a success and the feedback that was received was positive.
A few months later one of my employees ended up deploying and told me the training was what she needed to help her be successful. Another person at a different office used the training as well and said it help him prepare for his deployment because he had no idea what to expect. That feedback let me know that I was supposed to carry out that vision even if I was the only one who felt it was needed.
There will be times when you are the only one that sees the vision. It’s okay sis, walk tall in who you are. Stand firm in your vision, trust God and watch Him make it happen.
Do you have a story about a time when you were the only one that could see your vision? What did you do? Comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.