Having spent a lot of time in strategic planning meetings during the last 90 days, there is a common theme that has started to emerge. It revolves around the following three questions:
- Where are we going?
- How are we going to get there?
- What’s it going to look like?
Time and time again, senior teams are discussing these three questions and seeking precise and focused answers. They want to cascade clarity, but struggle to find concise answers that take into account the unique and very different time period that we are living through as a country. They know people want answers, and to a degree certainty in an uncertain time period. Still, they recognize there are no easy answers.
It all makes me think of the following quote by the late Carl Sagan: "Dreams are maps. We make the world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers." I think the hardest part right now for many leaders and for many companies is to have the courage to ask the difficult questions. And then to lean into the uncomfortable but important process of co-discovering the answers. When we own both the questions and the answers, we ultimately will execute them from a different level of commitment and clarity.
Sometimes thought, we get caught in group think and do not have the courage to listen to different answers or even to consider different questions. We surround ourselves with people who think just like us and act just like us. While this may create team unity, it does not always generate productive dialogue. As a CEO once told me, “If you and I always agree, then one of us is not doing their job.” Our job as leaders is to have courage when it comes to questions and answers.
One unique place to explore questions and answers in the Spring 2017 From Vision to Action Executive Roundtable. Here, a dedicated group of seekers and thinkers, men and women in leadership positions from a broad diversity of organizations,come together twice a year and dive deep into sharing, thinking, exploring and listening. They do not seek the answer as much as a diversity of answers and perspectives. Then, upon reflection post the Roundtable, they discover the right answer that works for them in their situation within their particular company.
This year the Spring 2017 From Vision to Action Executive Roundtable will be at the Courtyard in Ankeny, Iowa where we will be exploring the following questions:
Wednesday: April 5, 2017
- 8:30 am - Arrival & Visiting Time
- 9:00 am - 10:15 am - How do leaders position an organization successfully for the future?
- 10:15 am - 10:30 am - Break
- 10:30 am - 12:00 pm - How do leaders move from being a functional leader to an enterprise level leader?
- 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm - Lunch & Networking
- 1:30 pm - 2:45 pm - How do leaders help people keep moving along the collaboration continuum?
- 2:45 pm - 3:00 pm - Break
- 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm - How do leaders get coaching and employee development to become routine and systematic?
- 4:30 pm - Adjourn
Thursday: April 6, 2017
- 9:00 am - 10:15 am - How do leaders prevent burnout?
- 10:30 am - 12:00 pm - Integration and Application
- 12:00 pm - Adjourn
If you and members of your team are interested in participating, there is the link to the registration form:
In the world of leadership, there will always be questions. The key this spring is to have the courage to ask the ones that stretch you to new levels of performance and clarity.
I look forward to seeing you at the Spring Roundtable in April!