One Word… Vision (Part 2)

Last week, I began a post on Vision. I shared my working definition and my case for why it matters. Realizing you probably already know it matters, I wanted to follow up with a few ideas on how to create one.

So, let’s assume you get it – conceptually, but you don’t have a compelling vision for your team or organization. As you begin to craft your picture of the future, how do you know if you’re on track? Here are a few characteristics of a vision that works.
It must create passion in you. Does your pulse race when you talk about the vision? Can you feel your blood pressure rising? Is the vision so compelling for you, you have no choice but to pursue it? If you aren’t passionate about the vision, don’t expect anyone else to be. The passion of others will always lag somewhere behind yours.
It must inspire others. Why must this vision become a reality? Can you explain to others why the accomplishment of this vision matters? Can you help them get excited about the journey? They must be willing to invest personally in the pursuit. If the vision doesn’t inspire others, the chances of it becoming a reality are slim.
It must be big. People want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Now, judgment is certainly required here – if the vision is TOO big, it will seem unrealistic and people will not sign up for the journey. However, I believe the best leaders err on the bigger side of this issue. Small dreams stir no man’s soul.
It must be worth the effort. The vision must matter. If we are asking men and women to invest their time, energy and effort to accomplish the vision, they must be convinced that the return will make a difference.
Okay, I think I’m going to need a third post on this topic. I’m working hard to honor the coaching and feedback I’ve received from readers and keep my posts to a single page. I knew when I started writing about vision there was a lot to say.
So, next week, I’ll share thoughts on why so many leaders and their organizations fail to turn their vision into reality and what the best leaders do to buck that trend. Until then – Dream Big![GLS_Shield]
What is your vision?
I’d love to hear from you on this. Leave your comment below.
 

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Andy

7 years ago

Distilled into something for our business plan etc, my vision looks like this (it’s dry language, but you get the idea, I hope):
A generation restored and released, healed of all that has kept it bound in the chains of injustice and filled with hope, purpose, and a sense of future; and who will rebuild and restore their communities from the ashes to become places where justice, love, compassion, generosity and grace pervade, and the fullness of the potential God placed within them is truly released.

mark

7 years ago

Love it! The language is not dry at all. If you needed a bumper sticker or a t-shirt version, how would you say it in a few words? What about: A Generation Released! Thanks for joining the conversation. Mark

Kate Mielitz

7 years ago

My vision: Positively impacting young adults’ (high school and college) financial decisions through effective Financial Literacy Education and one-on-one (long-term) financial coaching. The vehicle through which I would achieve this vision is my own successful non-profit financial coaching agency and personally written curriculum with resources from the credit reporting agencies, major money publications, AFCPE, FINRA, the SEC, FTC, licensed investment specialists,(and others I’m sure) and a team of client-focused employees.

mark

7 years ago

Kate, thanks for sharing your vision. Please forgive me if this is my second response to your comment. I’ve been having a few issues with WordPress. My encouragement to you is to continue to look for ways to communicate your vision. I wrote a post entitled, 7 Ways to Help People Catch Your Vision. It may be helpful as you move forward. Thanks for joining the conversation! Mark

Stephen

7 years ago

Thanks Mark! I have been with the same organization for over 8 years, and have grown professionally during that time. I always felt that work should contribute to a higher purpose, but frankly I didn’t have a clear picture of how that would work.
A few years ago, I felt uninspired with my work, and so I began respectfully pressing the leaders above me for a clearer articulation of our vision. They didn’t give me one. I changed my expectations, and I increased my contribution.
I realized that I could raise the bar within my team by casting vision down, and I could lead up as well, with targeted and respectful questions that spoke to the need for clear purpose. It has paid off, although it has taken a couple of years. There is now a thriving dialogue on this subject, and we’re getting closer to a clear vision statement.
I think leaders are discontent with vision gaps, and they identify and fill these gaps, creating and casting vision even when it doesn’t feel like it’s their job. But through this process, leaders sometimes entertain the kind of discontent I felt and create division- It’s easy to identify the gaps and complain.
I think great leaders can step into the gap while enhancing unity and common purpose for those above and below in the hierarchy.
Thanks for your work on this blog!
Stephen

mark

7 years ago

Stephen, thanks for providing a case study on how to “lead up!” You hit the nail on the head. When leaders see a vision gap, they move to close it. They don’t worry about who’s job it should be. Leadership, done well, requires influence – influence in all directions. I know your comments are encouraging to many leaders around the world. Thanks for joining the conversation. And, thanks for leading! Mark

Five Blogs – 18 November 2013 | 5blogs

7 years ago

[…] One Word … Vision (Part 2) Written by: Mark Miller […]

My great Wordpress blog | Just another WordPress site | One Word… Vision (Part 3)

6 years ago

[…] this, it was only going to be one – The importance of vision. Then, it turned into two – How to create a compelling vision. And now, what I believe to be the final installment – Why do so many leaders fail to turn vision […]

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