This is part 11 of a 12 part series that I call the 12 X’s of Leadership.
Leaders see themselves succeeding. They have the ability to look into the future and literally see themselves obtaining their goal. Hitting their target.
Positive visualization is a crucial element in becoming a great leader and it is a powerful tool to help you accomplish any goal you set.
I saw this dramatically played out as my daughter Lindsey prepared for her first Equestrian event as a “show jumper” many years ago. In a nut shell, for me, show jumping was watching my little wisp of a daughter, 10 years old, climb up on the back of a 700 pound wild animal she called Yoo Hoo and ride around in an arena surrounded by hundreds of people and leap over small buildings. (Ok, that’s what it looked like to me anyway.) It scared me.
We got Lindsey an amazing trainer to help her learn how to compete in this sport (honestly, all I knew about horses was which end the food went in and which end it came out and to stay away from both ends).
I was more than a little worried when “my baby” climbed up upon this 700 lb “wild beast”. They trained for months with Lindsey progressing rapidly in her learning. She was a natural.
Then one day her trainer, Jason, proclaimed her ready to compete and signed her up for a huge show. We had one week to get ready. Jason informed us that the week before a show was critical and that he wanted to work with Lindsey every afternoon with her completely dressed in her “competition outfit”.
We arrived for the first pre-competition practice and Yoo Hoo was nowhere to be seen. Jason said Yoo Hoo was ready but Lindsey was not. He proceeded to sit her on top of the fence that surrounded the riding area at the stable and they rode the course over and over in Lindsey’s mind.
Jason taught her that she had to “see” herself succeeding, that she had to visualize herself flawlessly running the course: elbows in, thumbs up, heels down, change leads, lean into the jump. Time and time again they ran the course in Lindsey’s head. She knew it. She saw herself conquering it. She exhibited an attitude of optimistic confidence
The following Saturday I watched my girl win her first blue ribbon and learn a lifelong lesson: Rather than focus on the obstacles in the course of life, focus on getting over them, beating them, and achieving your goal.