I’ve been reflecting on this duality lately. Can you think of someone you know who possesses great vision, yet lacks the action to realize their goals? Or, what about the opposite? Those who charge into action with pace and determination, but haven’t first defined a clear vision?

Clearly, the two need each other. Vision needs action for it to be out worked and action needs vision to create alignment. But pursuing a WHAT without a clear HOW… or charging after a WHAT without a clear WHY… neither is effective.

Do you work with a Dreamer, or might you be one, yourself?

Here’s a quick diagnostic:

  • Your heart begins to race when you imagine the future.
  • You have amazing ideas about where to take this role/department/company.
  • In looking back, many of your ideas struggled to come to fruition.

If this resonates, here’s what you can do about it: find an operational partner. You’re all over the WHAT; you need someone who’s a ninja at the HOW. Seek out someone who quickly grasps big ideas, and who feels moved by what you share! More importantly, as they digest your ideas, they pull out a pen. They start drafting questions, next steps, and action plans. Lists emerge, outlining who you need to enroll along the way and milestones are quickly identified on the calendar. Yes, all of this may look exhausting to you, but it’s just what you need to turn dreams into game-changing reality.

Or, might you be a… nightmare?

Here’s a quick diagnostic:

  • You sigh in frustration when feeling held back from jumping into action.
  • You’re known as the git-er-done hard charger, mind racing on what you need to do next.
  • In looking back, you make things happen, but can’t exactly cite the original goal or the resulting impact to the business.

If this resonates, here’s what you can do about it: engage your leader. Explain that you love pursuing the WHAT, and that you’re their best, secret weapon. But you also want to develop yourself, and realize you need to better align your action with vision… you want to be able to define and embrace the WHY. Ask questions, seeking to understand how they envision, and learn to shift your thinking in the same way. Yes, this may feel uncomfortably abstract at first, but more intentionally leveraging your operational savvy will enable you to have much more meaningful impact.