Vision divides us and that is okay

I recently set up a mastermind group off of a workshop that I was attending. Actually, it wasn’t even my group. Just that my name was on the title. It was a bad decision but like most, you don’t have a clue what’s coming your way until it’s right there staring in your face. 

Long story short, the group had around 12 members. All passive except two — this guy who set the group up for me and yours truly. And right from the get go this gentleman had comments, assertions, points of views, and opinions about almost everything under the sun. Which is great! A group ought to have people like that and I respect that. 

I took the initiative to set up a call so that the members can meet and kick of the mastermind group. And then came the first objection: why do we want to get on a call when we can discuss right here? Just write down what you want to discuss and people would share if they want to. 

Obviously, I had to respond and explain why the whole point was to get on a call and brainstorm around the central goal of this mastermind. His reply was something in the lines of, “yeah, we wanted to create a mastermind group. We did. Now what? Let’s discuss it right here.” I felt it necessary to share the vision I had in mind and explained what a mastermind group is all about and how each member owes the other time, commitment, and energy to ensure success. But it fell on deaf ears. 

This person became rude and all the more arrogant. A few moments later I received a message in the group that he’s thinking of joining another group because this one is a waste of his time. I politely responded saying, “Let’s shut down this group as the interaction is affecting the 10 other members.” Minutes later he kicked me out of the group! Or perhaps he deleted the group in frustration. I don’t know. By this time, I couldn’t care less.

And yes, I did feel a pang of hurt, which was normal as I really wanted the group to succeed. But one of the best reaffirmations I’ve had during this experience is how vision divides. Most think it unites us but it’s just the opposite. 

This of yourself as a Captain of a ship. As a leader when you share your vision, you’re bound to have conflicts due to conflicting opinions or points of view. Get used to it because your biggest responsibility is to ensure that everyone on-board knows where the ship is headed towards. Doing so will have a reaction — there will be ones who aren’t happy with the destination or perhaps want to get off the ship. That’s okay. Let them get go. 

Focus on the ones who chose to stay but are still conflicted. Share your vision once again along with the “whys” and “hows” to win back their confidence. And if you believe in your vision and try hard enough you can’t help but win back their confidence. That my friend is what leadership is all about. 

But now you ask, “what’s a leader to do if they’ve been thrown off their own ship?” You build another one and this time as be more cautious of the people you bring on-board. Share your vision upfront, assess their levels of commitment, and most importantly why they would like to get on the ship in the first place. Trust me, the right people can take the ship to a great destination and the wrong ones will leave it stranded or worse, sink it. 

As a leader, the onus is onto you to be practical about sharing your vision. It’s okay for it to be not inspiring and motivating for everyone. You just need a few to kick start something that can transform the world. Remember that the best thing about what divides us is there’s a hope that someday we can bridge that gap.

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