I completed a 300+ mile bike ride last week on the Allegheny Pass and C & O Towpath. We rode through 3 rather long former train tunnels and one equally long canal tunnel. Each were literally through mountains.
Only one of the tunnels was lighted. Riding through the unlit tunnels was quite an experience, both creepy and enlightening at the same time. About 30-40 yards into each tunnel things went entirely black. Except for the light at the end of the tunnel, the exit, usually 3000 or more feet away and looking very small indeed.
We found that if we took our eyes off the end of the tunnel, we would lose control of the direction of our bicycles. Even if just for a moment, we felt like we would run into each other or the wall. We didn’t dare blink. We couldn’t see the ground, each other, any other obstacles, just the light at the end of the tunnel. Seeing the light, we rode on successfully.
It seems that this “tunnel vision” is a great metaphor for having a vision for your company. Not necessarily that you would look only at your goal all day long in running your business. But at least to make sure you looked at or reminded yourself daily of your vision, to make sure that all your actions and those of your team members are adding up to progress towards the goal.
How often do we as leaders lose sight of the vision and get off track? Are we communicating our vision often enough so that team members can keep sight of it?
It was a memorable experience I won’t forget about for some time.