That Vision Thing. Crucial to Leadership.

When you set out to accomplish something, anything, how do you start? Is it not usually with a vision? You see the finish line, or the finished product, or the larger expanse of possibilities ahead of you. Whether in business or in life, you accomplish more if you start with that vision thing.

To recap from earlier in the month, even the seven steps to great leadership start with vision:

Vision. Persistence. Persuasion. Listening. Learning. Collaborating. Humility.

Lots of writers and articles abound about creating a vision, but that vision thing really does have to be ingrained and obtainable by those who are following.

In an article by Susan Heathfield, she lists the fundamentals necessary for a vision that excite and motivate people to follow the leader. The vision must:

  • Clearly set organizational direction and purpose;
  • Inspire loyalty and caring through the involvement of all employees;
  • Display and reflect the unique strengths, culture, values, beliefs, and direction of the organization;
  • Inspire enthusiasm, belief, commitment and excitement in company members;
  • Help employees believe that they are part of something bigger than themselves and their daily work;
  • Be regularly communicated and shared, not just through monthly announcements and reminders at the company meeting, but permeating all communication at every level of the organization;
  • Serve as the reason courses of action are chosen, people are hired, markets are selected, and products are developed;
  • Challenge people to outdo themselves, to stretch and reach.
Without a well-defined vision, one that’s lived and breathed by everyone who’s a part of your team, it’s easy for the waters to become muddied, for a loss of focus to send us down rabbit trails that lead us away from our ultimate goal. In the words of Bill Hybels, “Vision is a picture of the future that produces passion.” Find your passion – define your passion into your vision – and lead your team into making it a reality.