“There is no more powerful engine driving an organization toward excellence and long-range success than an attractive, worthwhile, achievable vision for the future, widely shared.”
— Burt Nanus, Visionary Leadership
Now that we’ve gotten past our brief but terrifying trip over the fiscal cliff, let’s take a look at today’s political headlines to see how Congress is healing in the aftermath. Let’s see, we’ve got threats: “There Will Be Consequences”; dire warnings: “GOP is Blowing Itself Up”; insinuations of violence: “Welcome to Fight Club”. Hmmm, what are the odds that things will improve there any time soon?
With a persistent reputation as one of the most contentious Congresses in memory, our senators and representatives will have a hard time convincing the public they are going to a better job of working together to get things done in Washington. Indeed, Congressional approval ratings hit an all time low in 2012 and remain high going into the new year.
We don’t need to delve into any specific political issues to examine the dynamics that keep this negative trend alive. Just by referencing the Mission Statement from Marriage is a Business we can quickly identify a key factor that has become a significant roadblock in Congressional collaboration: the lack of a shared vision. As political division within the US populace has increased, it appears opposing members of Congress have found it more and more impossible to find any kind of common ground. Their ability to engage in a shared vision for governing America has become severely impaired, and the whole country is suffering as a result.
In much the same way, a husband and wife can find themselves on opposite sides of a philosophical, political, or theoretical divide at times. If they allow themselves to become polarized and entrenched, their marriage may be in for the same kinds of headaches that America has endured in recent years: legislative gridlock, shocking displays of disrespect, and missed opportunities for progress and growth.
Make sure your hard work as a couple yields positive results by solidifying your shared vision for your future together. It’s ok to want different things and have different dreams – no two individuals have the same personal wants and needs. But as a couple, it is vital that you come to an agreement on how you will pursue your goals together and incorporate both your requirements into a vision for your future. Don’t let your differences pull you in opposite directions. The tools that are so effective in helping business partners succeed can also help you as a couple identify your shared vision and make it a reality.