Yesterday morning I was working with clients by going through our 'Picturing the Future' process. We had just gone over the importance of having a clear picture of the future and how when everyone involved in an organization shares this picture and can see their own part of it, it's possible for people to offer up strengths no one knew they could contribute. A little 'aha' went through the room as people suddenly understood how their collective commitment and understanding of the organization's destination are absolutely critical to success.
Then, on request, we went into another room and watched then-President Elect Obama take the oath of office and speak to the nation and the world. People were impressed and challenged by President Obama's vision and his request for everyone to join in the effort.
As we settled back into the conference room, the group discussed how completely appropriate and serendipitous it was that our session had essentially primed them to hear President Obama's picture of the future and commit to putting themselves in it.
Whether a country, a community, a business, or your own home - having a clear vision shared by everyone involved can make the difference between success and failure. Once you know what you want, it's possible for everyone to rise to the occasion and give their best effort to enable you to get there.
PS: Today I met with a prospective client, and he said something that struck me in a good way. In discussing how he would evaluate us as a prospective partner to work with his company, he said, "I want to know if you would be the right person to walk beside us on our journey." That's the kind of evaluation I'm happy we're being considered for. I could literally see us travelling together - sharing thoughts, concerns, hopes, and loads - so both of us can go farther. A great metaphor. If he decides we would be a good walking partner, I believe we'll have a great journey.