- “Today’s a good day to evaluate the vision you have for your life, overlay that to how your life really is, and then make the difficult decisions to start to be more disciplined, moving towards that vision that you want.”
- Do you agree that leaders are entrusted with service? In this episode, learn how to lead others with a big vision, make tough decisions, and grow into a more effective leader!
- “I always say leaders are really entrusted with service. They’re entrusted with the vision. And as they’re entrusted with that vision, they’re also relied upon to make the hard decisions.”
- Are you clear on your vision and how to lead others to achieve it with you? This is CRUCIAL for a leader—let today’s episode give you a new perspective!
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)
Leadership, the delicate dance, is always about the vision decision. It’s about you or the leader or the group of leaders taking the mantle and that authority and accountability to say, okay, we’ve listened to all interested parties. We’ve done our best to understand what everybody needs and wants. But ultimately, this is the vision decision. This is where we are going to go together as a group.
Someone’s got to hold that space, take that mantle, lead that charge, repeat that vision over and over and over. Somebody or some group’s got to own that.
1. Step Up and Choose to Lead
When you look at great movements that could have been, they didn’t have someone or a particular group owning that vision decision. Because, right, you’ve also heard the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen.” Too many voices lacking aim or organization and alignment is ruined. So you’ve got to decide, okay, I have this movement, I have this idea. Are you going to be the vision decision maker or among that group? Like in companies today, right? In the crazy times we’re living in economically where there’s so much funding of new startup companies, as an example, it’s all about, okay, who’s on this team?
Who’s the decision maker?
What are they capable of?
And where do they want to go together?
And if you believe in them and you want to, if you’re investing in a company, you want to believe in that team or that board, and that’s going to define so much of how you invest, more than their metrics because it’s about that dream team. Who’s making the decision?
But ultimately, leadership is going to rest on one, two, three people. And that’s why you have CEOs of organizations, right? That’s why you have big leaders of movements throughout history. It always kind of fell on someone who had to make the tough calls. And that decision shapes everything, organizationally, economically. You think of when Steve Jobs left or was forced out of Apple and came back in. The approach that he had to take of a vision decision was, oh, you know what? We’re doing all these things. I think we need to go over here, and it might not be popular, and there are other voices saying support these things, but this is the track we’re going to have to take. And have to make those hard decisions. So it’s always those things. Have open ears, make the hard decisions.
2. Own the Vision Decision
The first principle, open ears, second principle, vision decision. You have to own the vision decision. You have to be open to it. You have to be adaptable with it, but you’ve got to be the most committed person on the team, in the organization, in the culture, in the family. You’ve got to be the person who holds that thing together, who’s entrusted with that.
I always say leaders are really entrusted with service. They’re entrusted with the vision. And as they’re entrusted with that vision, they’re also relied upon to make the hard decisions.
What’s some of the hardest decisions you ever made in your life? The hardest decisions you ever made in your life? I can be in any area, your relationships, your finances, your career.
What are some of the hardest decisions you’ve ever made? If you think about those hard decisions that you made, those hard decisions ultimately were made because you had a different vision at that moment.
You didn’t like where things were. You wanted to go in a different direction, and you bought into a vision of how things needed to be different. Whether that was from depletion, you were just exhausted, tired, didn’t like it. Whether that was from a place of just, oh, I recognize all the problems here, or I know there’s a better solution, or it was highly aspirational for your future, you bought into a different vision and you made a decision from that vision.
3. Crystallize Your Singular Decision
Well, I share that with you because part of the principle here of vision decision is to be aware, oh, your whole team is making hard decisions based on the vision. You’re going to have to make hard decisions based on the vision. So here’s a tough question. What the heck is the vision? What is it that you are after? What is it that you collectively want to move towards, want to achieve? And it doesn’t have to be some pie in the sky forever, 100 year out vision. It might be a three-month-out vision. It might be a six-month-out vision. But if you’re not crystal clear about that decision with yourself, what will happen is as people support what they create, as you open those ears, as you have those other conversations, you’ll be unmoored to the beliefs, the values and the direction that you want to go. You’ll lose yourself in the noise.
4. Don’t Lose Yourself in the Noise
And this is the number one thing I see great leaders do to fail. They lost themselves in the noise.
So much noise from the stakeholders. So much noise from the shareholders. So much noise on social media, the bad articles written about them. The people trying to cancel culture them. They lose their foundation of their vision of themselves and their future and they start becoming a ghost, fully adaptable and flexible into everything else everybody else wants. And now what they really are is a vessel carrying everybody else and everything else without that command level internally of, oh, I am in charge of this.
If you read “The Motivation Manifesto,” you get the ethos of this, right? Every morning you’ve got to get up, you’ve got to pick up that spear of purpose. You’ve got to cast it as far as you can see it today, throw that spear of purpose as far as you can today, as far as you can. And then your job is to go march towards that spear with so much commitment, so much discipline, so much resilience that you get to throw it out as far as you can again once you get it. That is having the vision and that is having the discipline to go get it.
The interesting thing is you have to take that outside of your head. You probably have a clearer vision for what’s important to you than your wife does, than your partner does, than your friends do, than your family does. And so a huge part of the vision principle is you’ve got to communicate it more. You’ve got to help everybody see what that vision ends up being, whether they participated or they didn’t, depending on your timing. And now it’s like, “Oh, this is the thing we’re rallying around, this is the spear, I’m going to throw it. We’re going to go together. Okay, great, let’s go.” And that command of the vision is what I mean by the vision decision. It doesn’t mean other people didn’t participate in it, but you own it. You own it.
The big part about it is your life’s decisions, whether you are conscious or unconscious, throughout your life, your life’s decisions were leading to a vision. And today’s a good opportunity to say, “Is this the vision? Is this what I wanted? Or did I not know what I wanted? Did I just go along the ride with everybody else and do what everyone else told me my whole life? Or did I architect this? Was I thoughtful about what the decision was, what I was after?” Today’s a good day to look at the vision you have for your life and ask, does it match what your reality is today? And if it doesn’t, now the fun part, the hard decisions.
All of personal development, the good part about it, is about the difficult decisions. I really believe that. It’s about the difficult decisions and it’s about the disciplined habits that keep us growing and extending and reaching new levels of our potential. That’s why I love it. That’s why I love personal development. That’s why I love it so much. It doesn’t matter how much I’m working, how tired I am, where I’ve been in the world, how much travel I’ve done, how much work I have. It doesn’t matter what’s going on with my family, my life, my finances or whatever. I love personal development because it commands so much from you. It says, “Oh, you want to grow? Look at where you are, young man. Look at where you are, young lady. Decide, is that the vision you have for your life?” No, then make the hard decisions. Practice those disciplined habits to go where you want to go. I love that stuff.
Today’s a good day to evaluate the vision you have for your life, overlay that to how your life really is, and then make the difficult decisions to start to be more disciplined, moving towards that vision that you want.
It’s the stuff of accountability that lies within this principle. So when I talk about the vision decision, it’s you own it, you’re responsible for it. You’ve got to communicate it and you’ve got to be real about whether that vision is mapping to today. And if it’s not, you’ve got to initiate the decisions or the discussions with others to make the decisions and you’ve got to discipline the habits to move towards that vision. You’ve got to own it, that’s the hardest part.