How to Get Visionary Clarity at the Top

Do you sit down at your desk in the morning and aren’t sure what you need to be focusing on? 

Or maybe you find yourself procrastinating because there are too many things on your list you don’t like doing. One of my clients calls them the “bane of her existence”.

It’s also common for CEOs and founders to feel like they’re constantly stuck in the weeds, manically jumping from one thing to another, putting out fires all day long.

These are all a result of what I call a priority problem.

It boils down to this: you don’t know what to do on a daily basis, you’re overwhelmed because you feel like everything needs to be fixed immediately, and every time you try to set priorities you don’t get them done.

This is not uncommon! 

I like to normalize the struggles of founders and CEOs. Yours is a tough job and feeling overwhelmed is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I believe it’s a natural stage of a growing business. You’ve had success and things have grown beyond what they once were, ie: too big for you to handle by yourself anymore.

This success makes it more important than ever to set priorities.

That’s why all of my clients start with Momentum Mapping, which is all about getting clear on what will move the needle in your business right now. The process is something I’ve tested and honed over the years and it works! 

I’m going to share some thoughts on why it works, but first, let’s dive into what got you here in the first place.

The Priority Problem: Here’s Why It’s Happening

Knowing where to focus your energy and being clear on where you’re going and why is possible! I’ve been a part of helping make it happen. 

But, it takes time and it hinges on a critical first step – carving out time to get clear on your priorities.

As the CEO, it’s crucial that you spend time in the visionary seat getting clear on the high level objectives for your business.

This is not optional. You need at least a few hours every quarter to set the priorities for the business. If you’re not putting aside strategic planning time, this is your permission slip. You need to take that time for yourself.

Here’s What to Do About It

Setting priorities for your business takes dedicated time to get everything out of your head combined with thoughtful prioritization and understanding what should be your priorities vs. your team’s.

But, the hard thing about prioritizing is actually the prioritizing part.

There are two things you need to keep in mind that will actually make it possible to prioritize.

#1: You have to keep your vision in mind and not get stuck in the day to day

The four layers of business are helpful here.

As the leader, you need to spend most of your time in the vision layer and sometimes dip down into strategy.

If you’re feeling stuck in the weeds on a day to day basis it means you’re getting sucked down into the management and implementation layers. 

At the beginning of a strategic planning session it helps to write out your vision for your business. I like to ask the question – What do you want to be known for? This will help you get recalibrated up into that higher level.

Then, take a mental tour through your business. Where are you getting stuck in management and implementation? What are the things you’d love to get off your plate? Where are the gaps and pain points? Which of these would be game changers? 

Take a look at the game changers and compare them to your vision. If they support it then they should be top priorities for the coming quarters.

You have to admit you can’t do it all. 

One of the reasons you might be procrastinating on setting priorities is because you may be afraid that you’re going to have to do everything yourself.

When I do this work with clients, I like to see the visionary responsible for as little as possible on the priority list we come up with. Instead, team members should be in charge of moving things into action, which frees you up for higher level work.

If you don’t have a team, one of your priorities for the upcoming quarter might be to hire consultants or employees who can take the lead on the goals for the quarter.

Time to Take Action

A deep dive into your business to identify gaps will help you get clear and focused. You’ll be able to sit down at your desk each morning and know exactly what you should be working on.

Without clarity at the top, it’s impossible for you and your team to know which projects will move your business forward in the coming months. So, even if your plate feels overflowing [and especially then!], carve out some time for yourself in the next several weeks for high-level, strategic thinking. 

If this sounds like a lot, that’s because it is! If you want an experienced collaborator to guide you through this process, reach out and book a call. I’d love to support you.