The Vision Test

The moment has come to discuss one of the most important aspects of leadership: VISION

As I think about this topic here are some immediate questions that come to mind….
Is there a difference between a great idea and a compelling vision of what the future could be? Is this an area of failing for leaders?
Do leaders need vision or is it enough to take a hold of someone elses vision and accomplish that?
Is a great leader someone with great vision or the person who can make that vision happen?

All good leadership books discuss the need for vision. Such books explain that without vision people have nothing to move towards and that you create the danger that what you are leading will eventually become stagnant and die. Vision is an indispensable leadership force that creates focus, drive, purpose, passion and significantly, the work to be completed.

Vision must not be taken forgranted. Without vision you risk living a ‘whatever’ life and rather than you determining the outcomes of your life, you truly end up doing ‘whatever’. I think it could be argued that it is the one characteristic of your leadership you should be willing to fight for, live for and possibly die for. It is the long-awaited dream that many leaders do not wait long enough to see come to pass.

Think of any great leader in history and you will probably bring to mind an individual who has overcome immense difficulties to climb their mountain and catch the view which to them became the single most important aspect of their life, it possibly consumed their every waking moment. The horizon of change became the overriding issue for which they would do whatever was required to see it accomplished.

Understand some truths about vision and you unlock the potential to increase your own leadership capacity and the capacity of those who follow you, the result being that everyone involved in the process can achieve far more than is possible without it.

Vision and leadership are inseparable
“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion” (Theodore Hesburgh, President of the University of Notre Dame”)

“There’s nothing more demoralising than a leader who can’t clearly articulate why we’re doing what we’re doing” (James Kouzes & Barry Posner)

Can it be written like this?

As a leader vision must be your life-blood. Whoever has the vision for what could be has the power to become the leader. Vision does not happen by chance, it is not a haphazard task. If you do not have a vision, a goal, a dream, a thought of what the preferred future should be, then I would question your leadership credentials.

You must take time to discover what you want to see and become skilled in communicating this clearly to the team who will make it happen. An incredible dream, that others can see and get a hold of, it attracts people, makes them want to be involved.

What is your vision?


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