From fixer to visionary – leaps in leadership.
Everyone knows a leader needs to be a visionary right? I don’t know how many job descriptions, leadership statements and grade review forms I’ve read which talk about the leap from managing, directing and tactics to leading, visioning and strategising. There are two fundamental reasons why these terms lead to self-doubt and hesitancy about taking the next step in your career:
- No one tells you how to become a strategic visionary
- You’ve most likely been cajoled into an entirely different skill set for years.
In my live this week I discussed an inherent tension between the pathway of the mystic and the pathway of the healer. These are fundamental parts of the magical identity but they are also the keys to understanding what’s going on for a lot of hesitant leaders hitting the point where fixing now takes second place to visioning.
I would bet you good money that, as a child, you were a pretty damn good visionary (maybe you still are when you’re not at work). The realm of the imagination held no fear. Then, over time, you learned to label some of your fabulous, wild ideas as silly, childish, irresponsible and time-wasting. And yet magical talent still needs a channel. As Candice pointed out in our discussion, the path of the healer is ‘safer’ and more socially acceptable than the mystic. We learn how to smooth over arguments, ease tensions, fit in to other people’s expectations. We learn how to become exceptional ‘fixers’, diplomats and people managers. If you’re carrying the emotional burden of a team, family or community right now you’re channeling your talent into the zone of the healer. This is the skill set you have been encouraged to develop whilst the visionary has been left by the wayside. Only, without the mystic the talent zone of the healer is limited to picking up the pieces and papering over the cracks – healing isn’t actually soothing, placating or even easing. It requires the vision of the mystic, the discernment of the seer and the grit of the magician to create real, lasting results.
You may well be a natural healer with well-springs of compassion, patience and wisdom that defy even your own expectations. But that is not all that you are. Instead of looking forward and seeing yourself as lacking the visionary skill you think you need look behind and remember that you always had it – you might just need a bit of support to oil the wheels and deploy this part of you into unfamiliar territory. The world may not believe in your magic, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need it.
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