Secrets from the Management Consultant: Vision

My friend Dan is one of the most effective management consultants I’ve ever worked with. I still remember the day I watched him work magic by asking a client, “What does it look like when it’s done?”

The client sat quietly for a minute, then started to talk about where he wanted his business to be at the completion of a series of initiatives. While he was talking, Dan listened quietly then asked some clarifying questions.

Soon, he and Dan were up at the dry erase board in the client’s office drawing a schematic of all of the contributing factors and components of what success looked like for the company.

Before the end of the day the executive brought team members in and explained his vision to each of them. His enthusiasm was contagious.

By the next day when Dan had the whole executive team together it was a relatively easy task to help them build a plan to get there.

As you traverse the path of opening, operating, then growing your business and want to take your business to the next level, ask yourself, “What does it look like when it’s done?” Then draw it out so you have a clear picture of your vision.

If you have a clear vision of where you’re going, not only does it keep you from meandering off the path, it clarifies your direction when you share it with others, be they suppliers, collaborators, or clients.

 

Published by Leah Ward-Lee

Leah Ward-Lee, the author of "$1,000 Start-Ups", is a serial micro-entrepreneur. She opened her first business at ten after lobbying for and receiving a shoe shine kit for Christmas. She pulled her wagon through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, offering to shine her neighbor’s shoes for twenty-five cents a pair. Once her wagon was full, she took the shoes home and polished them. Unfortunately that business was short-lived. She hadn’t tagged the shoes and couldn’t remember whose shoes were whose, so her dad went with her to retrace the route until every pair was returned. Since then she’s had businesses developing and teaching college courses, instructing aerobic classes, owning half a plane that was rented to a flight and maintenance school, and renting homes. She’s also owned a consignment store, a gift shop, a gift basket business, a consulting firm, hosted The Executive Toolbox (a weekly radio show), and a publishing company. She also spent twenty years in the US Army, served as the Chief Information and Technical Officer for two major insurance companies, and has a second career as a management consultant. Leah resides in Dallas, TX and on Amelia Island with Sammy and Goliath, her two rescue dogs.

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