Hope fuels resilience and stamps out surrender.

Keep Your Eyes on the Horizon | www.KevinPhillips.com
Photo by Jasper Garratt on Unsplash

Horizon gives hope and inspires courage

We long for something better than we have and bigger than ourselves. In our youth, we want a great life. We dream. Study. Train. Experiment. Begin careers. Start businesses. Launch non-profits. As we progress through life, we want to make an impact and leave a legacy. We all want to build a tomorrow better than today.

  • Teens study coding so they can create games, and even find careers
  • Students stretch themselves to earn scholarships
  • Athletes practice their sport to win championships
  • Neighbors raise funds to send disadvantaged children through a summer reading program
  • Teams work overtime fixing defects so a new product can create new revenue
  • Couples work a side hustle nights and weekends to retire early
  • Friends train for a triathlon, raising money to cure cancer
  • Ministers launch summer programs to build youth self-esteem and counter bullying
  • Executives launch transformation programs to meet shifting market demands

Horizon motivates actions and creates focus

Purpose gives hope. But it is said, “Hope is not a method.” As critical as inspiration is, hope can’t be realized without action. The horizon shapes your strategy and directs today’s action.

  • Shared direction. A shared vision keeps the team focused so everyone moves in the same direction. Otherwise, actions will counteract each other.

Horizon corrects course when distracted

Life happens. In our personal lives, cars break down, washing machines fail, roofs leak. In the office, equipment fails, competitors announce price drops, systems go down. They usually catch us off-guard and create disruption. They might require costly repairs. They distract us and even threaten to derail us. We don’t usually have much opportunity to prepare. It’s chaotic while sorting through the situation. So, we find ourselves working to get back on course. It’s easy to lose sight of the goal. Distractions and problems feed pessimism, which leads to inaction. Paralysis is defeating.

Horizon clarifies decisions and priorities

You will be faced with big decisions along the way. New opportunities. Competitors launch new products. A new market emerges. Opportunity expanding to a new territory. The team may be swimming in a sea of projects and you’re faced with the choice of working a little on all of them, or focusing on a handful to finish them. When the list of value-adding projects is longer than your resources, you’ll face burn-out if you don’t make good choices.

Horizon creates perspective when the ground shifts beneath you

Sometimes, the world changes around you. Without warning. Today it’s a pandemic, but there are so many other examples of “shape shifting” change. New technology often creates industry disruption:

  • Smartphone disrupted many industries and business models, like transportation, banking, photography, music, television, radio, and advertising.
  • Consider how these two disruptions led to dramatic change, forcing incumbents to adapt, reinvent, or succumb. Amazon led the way for retail shopping. Uber brought together independent drivers who use their own cars to provide consumer transportation. iTunes disintegrated the music industry. Netflix is disrupting entertainment. Robinhood is upending the consumer investment industry (game-changing free trades).
Photo by Diego Jimenez on Unsplash

Lift your eyes to the horizon

An important leadership skill (a life skill, really) is the ability to zoom in and out. Watch the horizon and respond as necessary to movement near the hood ornament. Handle the details of the day with an eye on the big picture.

Build Them Up® Founder | CEO, The KDP Group | Consultant | Executive Coach | Leadership Developer

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