Defining Vision Based Actions for College Students – Eric’s Story

Vision Based ActionsI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my summer internship at Metcalf & Associates, a leadership and management consulting firm. I am entering my final semester at T­he Ohio State University in the fall, majoring in Strategic Communication. I like marketing, and I plan to go to business school in a few years. I’m also on the varsity fencing team at Ohio State.

This summer, I am starting a blog that helps students find their life purposes, plus a step-by-step guide on how to bring this vision into reality. The information I am giving you is from a workbook written by a combination of college faculty and leadership development and executive coaching experts who make business executives very successful. This book will be published late in 2014. In this post, you will find your personal values. Throughout this blog, I will provide my own answers to the exercises as an example. This is part three of the four-part Vision topic. My answers are in italics.

In this post, I’ll show you how to set a realistic career direction based on your vision.  In the last two posts, we discussed creating your vision and identifying your personal values. In the next post I will give my answers to some great reflection questions. It turns out reflection  is a key part of this process.  

Putting Vision into Action

Now that you have your vision outlined, it’s important to put your vision into action. Consider your values and vision, as well as your individual skills. In this exercise, you will find ways to incorporate your passions into how you make a living. Also think of ideas or topics that you find extremely interesting, and are somehow involved in almost everything you do – school, work, social activities, entertainment media, etc.

Step 1: Identify your foundation.

  • What are you most passionate about?
    • Values: love, excellence, meaningful work
    • Respect
    • Order or being organized
    • Creativity
    • Doing things the right way and not cutting corners
    • Doing the right thing in general
    • Success/winning
    • I would be lying to myself if I didn’t put “food” on this list
    • Deep thinking
  • What are your economic needs and what can you do to meet them?
    • Overall financial stability; enough to not be worried in case of some family emergency, such as one of my family members needing a surgery.
    • Sufficient funding for the NPO that I would like to create.
    • Somewhere between a modest upper-middle class lifestyle and the guy from ‘The Wolf of Wallstreet’
    • Business strategy
    • Marketing/sales
    • Project management
    • Public speaking
  • What can you be great at?
    • Marketing/sales
    • Business strategy
    • Project management
    • Friend
    • Philanthropy/non-profit work
    • Teamwork
    • Public speaking

Step 2: Review and Identify Overlap.

  • Creativity and deep thinking are involved in all of the professional skills that I can be great at (my creativity led me to initially try marketing and strategy)
  • Excellence and success in my professional field(s) can create wealth
  • Doing the right thing and love overlap with philanthropy
  • Having a lot of money of my own can help fund my NPO
  • Meaningful work and philanthropy
  • Business strategy
  • Marketing/sales
  • Project management
  • Public speaking

Step 3: Harvest the ideas.

  • Based on overlaps, do you see anything that can be incorporated in what you do or how you work?
    • My passions for creativity, excellence, deep thought, and success, combined economic needs/wants, tell me that I should pursue a career that involves marketing, business strategy, and/or project management.
    • I should work in companies and projects that I find meaningful, ethical, and benefitting others

Look at your answers carefully and think of as many ideas and overlaps as possible. Even if there is something you think is useless right now, it’s good to write it down anyway.

Next week I will share my answers to key reflection questions. Building the reflection “muscle” is important as a leader. I will share my reflections for each step in the leadership development process.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Defining Personal Values For College Students – Eric’s Story

Values I’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my summer internship at Metcalf & Associates, a leadership and management consulting firm. I am entering my final semester at T­he Ohio State University in the fall, majoring in Strategic Communication. I like marketing, and I plan to go to business school in a few years. I’m also on the varsity fencing team at Ohio State.

This summer, I am starting a blog that helps students find their life purposes, plus a step-by-step guide on how to bring this vision into reality. The information I am giving you is from a workbook written by a combination of college faculty and leadership development and executive coaching experts who make business executives very successful. This book will be published late in 2014. In this post, you will find your personal values. Throughout this blog, I will provide my own answers to the exercises as an example.

This is part two of the three-part Vision topic. My answers are in italics.

Checklist for personal values

Step 1: Define what you value most. Values shape the way we think, feel, and act in our daily lives. To effectively achieve your life goals, they must match your values. From this list, select your top ten most important values to living your perfect life.

List of Personal Values:

Values checklist

  • My top 10: integrity, love, expertise, excellence, meaningful work, creativity, freedom, influencing others, self-respect, order

Step 2: Elimination. Now, from your top ten, narrow your list down to your top five values. Now narrow it down to your top three.

  • Top 5: integrity, love, excellence, meaningful work, influencing others
  • Top 3: love, excellence, meaningful work

Step 3: Integration. From your top three values, ask yourself:

  • How would your life be different if those values were prominent and practiced more?
  • I would probably have better results in school, work, and personal relationships. If practiced earlier, like in high school, I may be at a different university or even a different area of study.
  • What does each value mean, exactly? What do you expect from yourself, even in difficult times?
  • Love: care for the people around me, especially for the people close to me. In difficult times, I would think of those closest to me and perhaps look to them for help or motivation.
  • Excellence: overall skill, expertise, brilliance, and high-quality performance. I expect myself to always pursue excellence in everything I do, especially in difficult times when it is needed the most.
  • Meaningful Work: the work I do excites me, and I look forward to going to work and doing it every day. In difficult times, I would like my work to be meaningful, and something I love to do, because it will push me to keep going and give me less incentive to quit.
  • Does the personal vision you outlined reflect those values?
  • Yes, as far as I can tell.
    • If not, should your personal vision be modified?
      • If not, should you reconsider your values?
  • Are you willing to create a life in which these values are paramount, and help an organization put those values into action?
  • Now that I see how it could benefit me, yes. The things holding me back from doing so seem less important, and almost silly, so I have no reason not to go forward with such a life.

Real-World Application

So you’ve narrowed down your values and determined how to integrate them into your life. Try something out: write down your top three values and tape them somewhere so that you see it a lot, and strictly live by those values every hour of every day for the next few days. After a few days, monitor any differences in your usual days and the last few days of acting on your values. I tried this, and I found myself to be more productive in my work, more vibrant during personal interactions, and overall very happy. Hopefully you’ll get similar results, and if you do, you know you picked the right values to live by.

In my next post, I will discuss how to put your refined vision into a realistic plan of action, and I’ll give you some reflection questions. At the end of it, you should have a concrete plan of action that you can implement almost immediately, and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a great leader and college student.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.

Photo credite www:flickr.com banksy graffiti

Meet Eric, College Student Blog Series – Defining Your Vision

Eric PhilippouI’m Eric Philippou, and I’m writing this blog as part of my summer internship at Metcalf & Associates, a leadership and management consulting firm. I am entering my final semester at T­he Ohio State University in the fall, majoring in Strategic Communication. I like marketing, and I plan to go to business school in a few years. I’m also on the varsity fencing team at Ohio State.

If you’re a college student, you may often think about what you want to do with your life. Even after lots of soul-searching, many of you are still uncertain about what you want to do. This summer, I am starting a blog that helps students find their life purposes, plus a step-by-step guide on how to bring this vision into reality. The information I am giving you is from a workbook written by a combination of college faculty and leadership development and executive coaching experts who make business executives very successful. This book will be published late in 2014. I am working with the draft version to create a blog series. Throughout this blog, I will provide my own answers to the exercises as an example.

Here are the six steps to conquering your dreams, all of which I am covering this summer:

Innovative Leadership Development Process

In order to begin working toward your dreams, you need to have dreams. This brings us to our first topic – create a compelling vision of your future. This topic is broken down into four sub-topics. I will cover the first  in this post and the next ones in subsequent posts. You will see my answers to each question in italics below.

Define Your Personal Vision

  • Step 1: Create a picture of your future. Imagine yourself in the future, at the end of your life, happily reflecting on your success and how you achieved it. Answer these questions:
    • What is the thing of which you are most proud?
    • Motivating millions with my non-profit organization (NPO).
    • If you had a family, what would they say about you?
    • They would say that I would do anything for them, and I was selfless and great to them.
    • What did you accomplish professionally?
    • Climbed to the top of a large corporation, and then started a highly successful NPO.
    • What would your friends say about you?
    • Funniest guy they knew, always great to hang out with and that I’m an overall great guy.

 

  • Step 2: Write a story. Now that you have a general image of what you will do, write a small story going into further detail about these things. Include details about your answers from above, and consider the questions below. This will act as a roadmap for your journey and what you would want if designing the perfect life for yourself.
    • Who helped you along the way?
    • My wife, family, and friends – many of whom I met in business.
    • What did you enjoy about your daily life?
    • I always ate well because I am a great cook. I also had a lot of fun interacting with co-workers and clients, as well as my family.
    • Who was closest to you?
    • My wife, family, and a few friends who I knew for a long time.
    • What feelings did you have as you accomplished each milestone along the way?
    • Overwhelming joy and pride, and each accomplishment motivated me to tackle the next milestone. I am also proud that on the days I felt concern, and even a bit of fear, I kept focused on my goals and moved forward.
    • How did you mentor and contribute to the success of others?
    • At work, I mentored my co-workers who worked below me, and brought out the best in them. In my NPO, I touched millions with my work and helped many people around the world become more successful.
    • What did you do to maintain your health?
    • Exercised often to keep my energy up, ate nutritiously, and relaxed in order to recharge my batteries.
    • What role did spirituality or religion play in your journey?
    • Not a large role. I always stuck with the golden rule, unconditionally.
    • What job(s) did you have?
    • From entry-level to executive at a large corporation and then founder of my NPO.
    • What role did material success play in your life?
    • I won’t lie, I did enjoy making a lot of money. Money gave my family and I opportunities that we wouldn’t otherwise have. Material success played a decent role in my life, but it was not the main goal.
    • What type of person were you? (Kind, caring, driven, gracious, etc.)
    • I was always regarded as very generous, selfless, and driven. 

 

  • Step 3: Describe your personal vision. Now that you have more information about yourself, and how you want to live your life, create a two-to-five sentence life purpose statement. This talks about your highest priorities in life and your aspirations. This statement should ca­­pture the essence of how you want to live your life and project yourself.
    • An example: My vision is to bring maximum greatness to myself and the rest of the world. I will conduct myself with integrity, and I will always push myself knowing that succeeding in my goals will directly benefit the human race. I will live the best and happiest life that I could imagine. The world will benefit from me being here, long after I am gone.

 

  • Step 4: Expand and clarify your vision. Many of you probably have a mixture of selfless and self-centered elements to your vision. You may be wondering if it’s okay to want for wealth and luxury to be in your personal vision. For now, suspend your judgment about what is “worth” desiring, and instead ask yourself which elements of these visions are closest to your deepest desire. Ask yourself, “If I could have it right now, would I take it?”, and think about what about each element is so appealing to you.
    • For example, in my answer, my true deepest desire is to positively impact the world. I absolutely want to be wealthy, but right now, if I did that to the extent I desire, I could literally die and be 100% content with my entire life. In your life purpose statement, focus more on what would bring you to complete peace with yourself. Consider this, and revise your life purpose statement accordingly.
    • Some elements of your vision will not make it past this question, and others may only pass under specific circumstances. Some may change over time.
    • My previous life purpose statement looked like this: I will climb all the way up to top management in a large organization. I will have enough money to have an awesome house, luxury cars, and even create my own nonprofit organization that focuses on providing people with motivation and success strategies. Everyone who meets me will think, “Wow, what a great guy.” I will show respect for everyone.
    • Then I asked, “If I could have it right now, would I take it?”
      • Climbing to top management of a large corporation
        • Yes, but only if the corporation does things that I support, and I got to where I am in an ethical way. It’s more about having the power and resources to carry out what I believe will benefit society more.
      • Enough money for an awesome house and luxury cars
        • Yes, but only if I received it in an ethical way and it brings me the joy that I seek.
      • Enough money to start a nonprofit organization
        • Yes.
      • Everyone who meets me will be impressed
        • If I’m impressed with myself, and I feel my accomplishments have in fact benefitted humanity, then the desire to impress others is not very important – merely an added bonus.
      • I will show respect to everyone
        • Yes, that is a very broad goal that I can easily control right away.
    • After thorough analysis, I refined my life purpose statement accordingly, to the statement in the previous step: My vision is to bring maximum greatness to myself and the rest of the world. I will conduct myself with integrity and I will always push myself knowing that succeeding in my goals will directly benefit the human race. I will live the best and happiest life that I could imagine. The world will benefit from me being here, long after I am gone.

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

If you are interested in receiving Eric’s ongoing blog series or our other articles by email, please sign up in the box on the right labeled Get Email Updates From Us.