The Essence of Leadership is Vision

Vision Definition 072613The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet.”  -Theodore M. Hesburgh

Vision is a picture of a preferred future. It’s a future that everyone can get excited about. It’s a future that is better than the present. It’s a future that makes sense and is quickly understood. Great leaders create the destiny and direction for their companies. That’s vision. But then they engage their teams with the vision so that everyone is passionately committed to it. To truly have a “preferred future” you must have an “un-preferred present.” In other words, every great vision begins with a problem, something that needs to be changed! So ask yourself, “What is the problem that my company solves for others?” If you describe the problem in vivid detail, the vision becomes much more attractive and desirable. If I were to call your employees, managers, customers, vendors, suppliers, etc., what do you think they would say about your vision? This is the primary responsibility of leadership. Jack Welch wisely summed up what good leaders do.  He said “Good business leaders CREATE a vision, ARTICULATE the vision, passionately OWN the vision, and relentlessly DRIVE IT to completion.” Your Vision is your greatest asset!  It’s your burning desire in vivid and colorful detail.  You need to be absolutely clear where you want to take your business and your life! Let me encourage you to write down your vision. Don’t feel like you have to put it in a well-crafted statement (i.e. you don’t have to write a “vision statement.”) Just write bullet points or a paragraph that briefly describes the problem and the preferred future. Start with your core values. Let your vision emerge from your values. Process it with your team members. Let them speak into it. But remember it is your responsibility as a leader to define it, articulate it, and drive it. The essence of leadership is that you have a vision!

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply