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Should I Stay or Should I Go?

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Keep an Eye on Your Vision Gauge

A conversation over the weekend reminded me of how vision works in my life. As long as I have vision for the organization and my role in the organization, work moves forward. But if vision quavers, all sorts of rocky stuff starts happening. I get itchy for purpose.

For me vision is like the gas gauge: I can (nearly) see it as it maintains or slowly drops. And if nothing replenishes vision, movement slows to a stop.

But what is vision? For me it is seeing a longer term role or impact. It is also recognizing my organization has a larger purpose and how I fit that purpose. Vision gets personal.

After a couple years at a large industrial company—early in my career—I recognized the growth paths presented by the manager led nowhere I wanted to go. Not long after that pep talk the company’s mission and purpose started seeming pretty stale. In fact, I could not see anything in the organization I wanted to do. So I started knocking on different doors. The doors that eventually opened helped me sort out my direction.


The Clash was singing about romance. But work is also a kind of romance—a dance of loyalty and engagement—far from the purely transactional presentation your HR officer lays out the day you get laid off. And that is true for more than work: any and every company, volunteer opportunity, or gathering that attracts us does so because of purpose and mission. At least that’s true for me.

What does your vision gauge read today?


Written by kirkistan

January 14, 2013 at 12:18 pm

2 Responses

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  1. “But if vision quavers,” Is that like quivering and wavering at the same time? I think I quavered after watching human sushi, yesterday.

    I identify with the need to see the big work picture. I find it easier to deal with being a cog (for a time) if I understand where the energy goes after I turn the sprocket next to me.

    Jon M.

    January 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    • Quaver: “to quiver, tremble, or shake” Also: a brand of potato crisps in the UK. I hear you on the cog–a guy/gal just needs to know the outcome of the organism one is involved with. I wish that dance company would interpret Quavers. Thanks for reading, Jon.


      January 14, 2013 at 5:18 pm

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