07 June 2013

The Visionary Leader

"The very essence of leadership is that you have a vision. It's got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. You can't blow an uncertain trumpet."
Theodore Hesburgh 

Leaders set the pace. They are future focused. They know where they are going.

As a leader, you must know what your target is for yourself, your team or the business. What do you see for the future? 

If you're not clear on your vision, you can end up leading people into the wilderness. 

Setting a vision is creating a vivid picture of the future you desire. It’s about painting a picture that's descriptive and enticing enough for people to want to step into and be part of it.

Your vision must be inspirational for yourself and your team.  And it must be something worthwhile for the business or your life. Your vision is a long term, big picture, future based view of what’s possible and what you’re heading toward. It must provide real and emotional benefit to empower and motivate you and others to action over the longer term.

For your vision to be accepted and embraced by others, it must be both appealing and beneficial. People need to buy in to what the vision offers before they will set out on the path towards it.

Dictating your vision is not visionary. True leaders sell the vision; they explain the reasons for the vision, they get input into defining the vision, and they help those involved or impacted by the vision to stay focused on the benefits of the vision.

Use your vision to keep you certain about where you’re going, what you’re doing and why. Keep your vision within sight at all times.  And revisit it regularly for focus, motivation and power.

If you don’t have a long-term view of where you’re headed, you (and your business) could end up anywhere. Don’t waste your time or your life wandering the wilderness. Take charge of where you’re going. 

Set your destination. Get clear about what the future holds. This clarity around your vision will be an inspiration to others. Very few people do the work of defining where they’re going and drift aimlessly until someone inspires them with a distinct and definite vision to work toward. 

Be the one with that vision! At the least, you’ll inspire yourself about what the future holds. At best, you’ll inspire the masses!

Reflection Questions:

What is your long term, big picture view for your life or business?

How do you see things in your life or business in 5 years, 10 years from now? Get clarity around that vision. Paint the picture of your future in great detail.

How will you share your vision so it inspires those around you? How will you make it visible, and how often will you revisit it?