Leaders that I coach know the importance of having a clear career goal Back To The Future. This will give them direction and focus. The idea of creating an Back To The Future can be daunting. This article will explain the value and concept of an Impossible Back To The Future, and give you eight steps to create your own. You can easily adapt the same principles to your company once you have created one.
A Impossible Back To The Future?
Robert Hargrove defines Impossible Future in his book Masterful Coaching (pp.xiv -xvii). It is an “extraordinary result…or transformative goal”. It helps you move beyond the Predictable Future of incremental improvement and continuous improvement, to reinvent yourself to reach greater goals. Designing your Impossible Future requires personal transformation. It takes imagination and faith.
These are examples of career goals that might be considered Predictable Futures (PF).
* Complete university to become an engineer
* Receive a promotion in two years or two levels of promotion within five years.
* Change your job in a year or get comfortable with my current job in six months.
Predictable Back To The Future goals aim to extend the current situation logically into future, assuming all goes well. They are short- to medium-term and focus on overcoming obstacles and improving professional skills. They are precise and quantifiable. A PF will bring you satisfaction and increase your confidence.
The Impossible Back To The Future (IF), goal is more like this:
* We are a leading mail-order and retail supplier of gardening tools, woodworking tools, and cabinet hardware for serious woodworkers (Leonard Lee, Lee Valley Tools).
* Better Leaders. Better World (Leadership coach Robert Hargrove);
* A computer in every home and on every desk (Bill Gates).
An IF allows you to go beyond your personal accomplishments and look at how you can make a greater contribution to your community or the wider world. It asks the questions: Why are you doing it? And what can you do to make a difference for others. An IF can be emotionally motivating and self-energizing. It encourages you to push yourself beyond your limits and challenge yourself. It speaks to your deepest desire for something valuable and to give your life meaning.
You can now hear me say, “But Bill Gates is not my multinational company!” This doesn’t apply to me. I believe that everyone has a life worth living and that each person can imagine a better future. It is your duty to be the best version of yourself.
A New Paradigm
Social constructionism is a paradigm that changes the way we set our professional and personal goals. This is how it’s described in Appreciative Coaching: A Positive Process for Change (p.23), by Sara L. Orem and Jacqueline Binkert, as well as Ann L. Clancy.
“Sciences of the 21st Century see a very different universe than the one we have seen in the past. They are influenced by quantum physics and new science of self-organizing systems and complexity. Social constructionism also includes the idea of individuals as independent, spontaneous, active beings that create images of the future towards which they will grow.
Fairmount Minerals Professor in Social Entrepreneurship at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. David Cooperrider and the founder of Appreciative Inquiry, states that humans create their own reality through symbolic and mental processes. Each goal is subject to both conscious and unconscious limitations. These limits are often imposed by our fears and negative thinking, rather than any external factors that could hold us back. Dreaming big can help you overcome your self-imposed limitations.
It is possible to design an impossible future. This is a new way of setting goals that takes into account recent scientific discoveries about human strength, resilience and willpower. The idea behind it is that you can create your reality. You have the option of creating a safe, predictable, small-scale future, or something meaningful and more challenging. Your Impossible Back To The Future is likely to take longer than expected. However, one Impossible Future could lead to another.
8 Steps for Designing Your Impossible Back To The Future
Take stock of your current reality and add a twist.
Instead of dwelling on the negative or missing aspects of your life, focus on the positive. Recognize your strengths. Recall your career highlights, achievements and positive experiences. Look for commonalities, themes, and lessons in your positive experiences. What works well for you? What are you looking to maintain? Define your positive core.
Be an explorer in your Back To The Future.
Imagine your ideal future with your strengths and positive attributes in mind. Imagine a world full of possibilities. How would you like to be treated by someone who loves and respects your dreams? What would it look like to be your best and most authentic self? What could you do if there weren’t any obstacles?
Paint a detailed picture.
Add detail to your future. It should be as clear as possible. Use present tense language. How does it look? Are you there? Who are they? What do they have to say about you? What are they saying about you? What are you feeling? It is important to make it real. You are creating the future you want.
Pay close attention to what language you use.
Scientists now know that language is a key factor in shaping our social reality. Optimistic, possibility-generating language drives people to take action in a positive direction far more than negative, critical, cautionary approaches.
Your Back To The Future is yours.
It is important that you speak up and set goals for your future. It is important to share your goals and the impact you are looking to make. Your commitment will be increased if you make your goals public. You might also find people willing to help you if you make your goals public.
Consider the aspects of your Impossible Back To The Futureyou already have.
Your brain will look for opportunities to get there if you have a clear vision. You will see doors that are not there before. You have likely already begun the journey toward your future. You will feel more confident if you can see the progress you have made.
You should have a plan of action, but you should also allow for experimentation.
Your Impossible Future can be turned into a plan that includes stepping stones. But, don’t forget to look for opportunities to try. Your goal is to learn new skills and expand your capabilities. This means looking at your assumptions and beliefs, seeking out help from others to spot your blind spots, and finding new ways to tackle obstacles.
Be flexible, persevere, and celebrate.
Like Rome, impossible futures are not possible in one day. Be patient when things get tough, and be grateful for small and large successes. This will calm your inner critic and self-doubt.
Impossible Future can create excitement and momentum that can change your life. Your own fears and doubts are the biggest obstacles you will face. To create your best future, you must use your imagination and believe in yourself enough that you will act in the present to make it happen Back To The Future.