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WHAT CANOEING TAUGHT ME ABOUT TEAM VISION!


Growing up in Florida, I was surrounded by water as a child, even going to elementary school on the beach. As you can imagine, I had my fair share of water based experiences and to this day, I still love boating and fishing. During the summers I spent time at a camp called, Camp Unitas which brought kids from around the State of Florida to spend one week camping, swimming, learning the value of diversity and my favorite, canoeing. As a kid, I’d jump in the canoe and take a seat; as the smallest (code for skinny), I was often seated in the middle of the canoe. While this position didn’t require that I paddle, my enthusiasm had me do so anyway as I wanted to participate in our progress. As a kid, you’re just excited about the activity and often I found myself rowing in the opposite direction! Looking back through my adult lens, I now realize, my energy was being wasted instead of moving our boat forward. I was dragging my team down because my efforts were not aligned with where we were going.


While this sounds like a silly childhood story, it is metaphoric to business as well. Every person in your organization has paddling to do, and if they aren’t all rowing in the same direction, the boat cannot move forward effectively or maximize its velocity. Your Vision tells your employees where they’re going, your Mission tells them what they are doing and your Strategy tells them how they are going to get there. It is the leadership team’s job to share your Vision with everyone in the company until they “get it.”


Every organization (regardless of size) must do three things to succeed:


  1. Imprint your vision into those in your boat (company/organization)

  2. Get your employees rowing in the same direction.

  3. Identify what’s hindering the speed of your boat (company/organization).


I encourage you to move beyond simply sharing your vision “with all” to knowing when your vision is being share “by all.” This important distinction will help you identify where your dysfunctions (skinny guy rowing in the wrong direction) are.


Keep Rowing!


BE AUDACIOUS, BE AUTHENTIC, BE AWESOME!


Inspired by his passion for seeing radical success in others, Kelvin focuses on helping organizations and their leaders achieve greater productivity, quality customer satisfaction, and profits through higher engagement levels.

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