Wisdom is directly in front of the discerning person,
but the eyes of a fool run to the ends of the earth.
A foolish child is a grief to his father,
and bitterness to the mother who bore him.
What a great proverb for leadership. If you wonder why you should trust Solomon when he talks about leadership, here are two reasons: He was the wealthiest man that ever lived with the largest kingdom on earth. He understood leadership. (By the way, we’re all leaders. Just because I used the word leadership doesn’t exclude this proverb from applying to you…)
One of the problems many leaders face is the temptation to always be 10 miles down the road. Leaders tend to be dreamers. They like to think in big pictures and dream about all the things that could be. They are able to look at a situation and see all the things that could happen, and then take those dreams out to a great distance.
What’s wrong with that? Well, nothing necessarily. Except when you don’t pay attention to what’s right in front of you. The problem is when you’re always looking for the next big thing, the next great thing down the road or around the bend and never focusing on what’s right in front of you. It’s great to dream, but if you always only live in the dream, you’re just a day dreamer. At some point, you have to focus on what’s right in front of you.
Yes, as a leader, it is your responsibility to dream. But it is also your responsibility to know exactly where you are right now and all the challenges that lie in front of you. You will never get to the dream if you don’t start with the first step. The temptation is to think that you deserve the dream without doing any of the work to get there.
Do you want to know the only way you deserve the dream? If you take all the steps between here and the dream to get there. There are no shortcuts to the dream. There is no easy button. There is magic pipe you can climb down into and skip to level 4. There is no such thing as an overnight success.
But there are steps. There is something you can do right now that will lead you to where you want to be. There is something you can do today that will be a step toward where you want to be in the dream. Dreams aren’t tangible. Steps are. Dreams don’t have legs. You do.
So, focus on what’s right in front of you. Focus on the things you can do today. Focus on what you need to do today to take you to the next step tomorrow. Before you know it you will be a lot closer to your dream. If you just sit and stare at the horizon and wait for it to get here, you’ll spend your life staring at the horizon.