Having a dream is a great thing, however once you have a dream there is the logical question, “What the heck do I do with that?” A dream within creates vision; it drives us to see an idea become a reality. Once you have taken time and space and allowed your passion to fuel a new dream, you have to put context to the dream. A real world framework is required to help an intangible dream become a tangible pursuit. The term I use for this “tangible pursuit” is new territory.
Leaders go first. The dream is the starting piece of that, as it envisions something that “is not, but should be.” The new territory is the direction and destination set in place by the leader that will allow the dream to become a reality.
How do you take an intangible dream and turn it into reality? How do we gain clarity on what the new territory will be? There are 3 things I would seek in order to gain clarity on your new territory:
Questions – A dream can be such a fluid concept, which makes it hard to get to the essence of it. Ask yourself questions that help to focus in on the core. There are unlimited numbers of questions you can ask to create a framework for your dream to live within. The New Territory is the house, and each question answered is a support beam that helps give it shape.
History – One of the best ways to contextualize where you should go is to look back at where you have been. Your history gives you a glimpse into strengths and weaknesses; while also being a great compass as to whether you are heading in the right direction or going completely the wrong way. The old saying goes, “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” – if we want to go somewhere we have not been we must be very clear on where we have been.
Advice from Advisors – You do not know what you do not know, but certain people know what you do not know. If you are going to advance to a new territory you should talk to people who have done it before you. They probably have not been exactly where you are going – but they can speak to the opportunities and pitfalls that come as you create a clear picture of the new territory. Go seek out mentors or leaders who are better than you and ask them for advice and guidance as you define the new territory for your team.