Leaders have the unique job of trying to inspire people work to create a preferred future that is different than the one they currently live. A preferred future a vision of “what could be” is the emotional firepower that puts the “why” behind every “what”. Good leaders know how to paint a profound picture of hope in the minds of their teams so they are spurred onto greater acts of love, service and creativity.
Inspiration is a fickle thing. We have all experienced the emotional high that comes after a team retreat, the casting of a new vision, or the discussion of new strategic objectives. We are pumped and ready to go after stuff like this because the vision is fresh in our minds and our objectives are clear.
The problem comes when the circumstances of life cause us to inevitably lose our fervor. Life has a way of clouding our vision and throwing roadblocks in our path that cause us to lose sight of the bigger picture.
This is exactly the point where a good leader needs to step in. A good leader understands that one of the most powerful weapons they have to keep their team from getting discouraged is the use of “memory”.
A leader’s job is to use the past to inspire the present. Good leaders will leverage their past successes to help their team overcome current challenges. Remembering past acts of courage, resilience, and toughness will give their team an emotional boost to power through whatever roadblock they find in their way.
Memory is powerful because it reminds us who we are and gives us the strength to become who we were created to be. It reminds us that difficult circumstances won’t last and it gives us the strength to strive towards a vision of “what could be.”
Leaders need to use memory as a powerful weapon to combat the challenges that can cloud your team’s vision and discourage them from working towards their mission. Every leader believes they are tasked with leading their team to greater things, to a preferred future where they will impact lives and work towards a better future. But they can’t get there without using the memories and successes of the past to connect them to their work in the present.
Whenever our emotional compasses start to go haywire, we need to remember where we’ve come from so we can figure out how to start moving forward. It is the leader’s job to recall and remind the people that follow them the victories they’ve had in the past so they can confidently march towards where they want to go in the future. Remembering where we’ve been is crucial to knowing where we want want to go.
Allow the victories of yesterday to become the fuel for where you’ll go tomorrow.
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