Do you exercise?
I run several times a week to keep fit. When I travel for work, I try to find a hotel that has a gym so that I could use the treadmill.
Running outdoor or on a treadmill both come with advantages and disadvantages. For the same distance I run, there is really no difference in the number of calories I burn.
However, I found that I tended to run a longer distance when doing it outdoor!
What caused this difference?
Why your team needs a compelling vision
My purpose for exercising is to keep fit. My mission is to run three to four times a week, usually in the morning. My goal is to cover a distance of 5 kilometres each time I run.
Of course, there’s always the internal struggles during different phases of the run: wanting to put-off the run, thoughts of quitting, wondering when the goal is near, wanting to cut short the run, struggling with fatigue, etc. (Perhaps you don’t have these struggles, but I do.)
When I run outdoor (usually not on a track), I found that I could reach that goal most times.
Running on a treadmill, despite the air-conditioning comfort, tended to end in me covering a shorter distance.
The difference between the two can be summed up in two words: compelling vision!
Running on a treadmill is just that, a run.
I have a mission and a clear goal. I just need to keep at it, one step at a time, and I should eventually reach my goal.
But the journey is so uninspiring!
The scenery around me remains the same. Whatever my progress, I look around and see the same thing. In fact, I am still in the same place!
The only thing that tells me how much I have progressed is the display on the treadmill, telling me the distance I have covered. But it’s just a number.
I keep reminding myself about my goal (5 km), but no matter how I try to spice it up, it’s still a number.
I could motivate myself by celebrating the distance I have covered, and that the remaining distance is decreasing. But, at the end of the day, it’s still just a number.
Running outdoor, however, is much more than just a run.
The mission and the goal are the same, but I now have more things to look forward to.
I can look forward to reaching the bridge that represents the half-way point of my journey, and enjoy the scenery while I pass it by.
I look forward to seeing the sun rises, as I draw near to my home stretch which happens to face east.
At several places along my journey, I can look forward to seeing birds swooping down towards the river for their morning catch.
I could also look forward to overtaking fellow runners along the way: “I’m going to catch up with that guy in red shirt about 400 metres ahead and then overtake him!”
More importantly, I can look forward to the endpoint. I can visualise the place in my mind, and see myself making the final dash towards the finishing point, and then the “victory!”
It’s much more inspiring!
Moving towards your mission
In many ways, fulfilling your team’s mission and moving towards your goals is just like a run.
If it’s just the numbers, you’ll find yourselves feeling like you’re going through the motion, trying to get through the hard slog day in and day out.
It’s uninspiring, and the temptation to not give your best (or to give up entirely) is strong.
With a compelling vision, something exciting to look forward to, you are more likely to give your best and keep on going.
It’s not good enough to know your team’s purpose, to have a clearly articulated mission and concrete goals.
You need a compelling vision!
“With a compelling vision, something exciting to look forward to, you are more likely to give your best and keep on going.”
What about you?
Do you have a vision for your team?
How compelling is the vision for your team? Would it inspire your team to keep going?