If you’re anything like me, you probably have a holiday habit… race like crazy to complete your to-do list before your annual leave starts, then spend a couple of weeks so exhausted by the thought of work that you totally detach from it.
It maybe, if you’re a bit more zeitgeist, you keep an eye on your inbox for the whole holiday, ‘just in case’ and end up barely switching off at all.
This summer, I propose something different – make yourself a vision space.
See, the thing the female leaders I work with struggle to do most of all (and no doubt plenty of chaps too) is to carve time into their schedules to think beyond the inbox and quarterly targets. They’re outstanding do-ers, talented implementers, but when they’re asked to set the agenda, or to share their vision for their organisation (and beyond), they clam up.
It’s not because they lack opinions. Ask them and they have interesting, informed and insightful perspectives. It’s typically that these opinions haven’t been allowed the oxygen they need to develop into ideas they’re confident to articulate.
Yet, that’s what we need more than anything these days – leaders who think deeply about the future they’d like to create – and then set about creating it.
For example, here are some opinions (particularly the ladies please) I’m eager to hear:
- The critical voice on AI that makes sure we’re not heading for another Oppenheim moment.
- The positive voice giving us clear, inspiring post-Brexit leadership, both political and economic.
- The diversity brain with some shockingly clever solutions to pipeline issues in male dominated industries.
- The physician who’s willing to tackle our over use of anti-biotics and other pharmaceuticals.
… my wish list goes on (additions appreciated)
The point is, until we make SPACE, these voices who can address some of our biggest challenges, don’t even come into our minds. That means we can’t articulate or act upon them.
This, then, is your summer challenge.
However many family commitments you have, give yourself 2 luxurious hours.
With a chilled beverage of your choice.
A blank sheet of paper.
And a pen.
Write, draw… sculpt (?!)… What is your vision? What is the change you want to contribute to brining about? And what are you going to do about it?
Do this, not because it’s indulgent or nourishing.
Do this because our world needs you to do this.
I’m going to do this over my summer hols – and I’d like you to do the same. Report back with your progress.
The UK’s leading inspiring speaking expert & best-selling author. Sarah Lloyd-Hughes is a multiple-award winning public speaking coach, founder of Ginger and author of “How to be Brilliant at Public Speaking” (Pearson).