When I think of a great leader, I think of someone who has a compelling vision. Their vision keeps them focused, hungry and inspired to do whatever it takes to create significance in the lives of others.
When I coach and mentor people, the first question I ask is if they have a personal vision? Some have a vision but needed to go back and review to what they thought about at the time they created one. Some really don’t have a vision, but needed coaching in articulating one that can get them motivated and inspired toward a new direction in their life.
A vision should stretch our sense of what’s possible and inspire us to give ourselves purpose toward a better future. I believe in possibilities. I believe in potential. I am an optimist at heart and know people can be all they choose to be.
When I was younger, I did not have a compelling vision. As years passed by I began to understand the importance of casting a vision and holding myself accountable to a vision that can serve as a compass for success in my life.
When I wake up every day, I look at my vision statement and how everything in my life at this very moment can align with the purpose of that vision. You see, having a vision is not enough. You need to align specific actions to make that vision a driver in your life. Without taking steps to making your vision a reality, it remains unfulfilled.
So why do you need a vision to be a great leader?
As a leader, you have to create a road map for a better future. An idea that can inspire and generate a meaningful purpose to making our world a better place. If you don’t have a compelling vision for yourself and others, you will miss the mark of great leadership.
Think of someone you know that demonstrated great leadership around you. Do they have a vision for themselves and the people they lead? Are they intentional about making their vision a reality?
What does it take to have a great vision? My first suggestion is for you to take a long, silent walk to internalize some emotions you have about leadership. Let the thoughts come through unfiltered without any judgments or comparisons. Connect deeply with your inner purpose and think about the legacy you want to create.
Then proceed to the next five steps to create a compelling vision that can energizes you and the people you lead every day:
Your vision should include the following ideas:
Inspiring-Your vision should be born out of inspiration and passion to create a sense of purpose every day. What do you feel deeply about? What gives you a sense of meaning that makes you come alive?
Specific-Your vision can’t be ambiguous. If it’s not clear and concise, it’s very difficult to follow and take action toward that vision. Take your time in articulating the specific result you want to accomplish.
Commitment–You must be committed to your vision. You must own every moving piece into what you said you will do. You are going to face situations that are not always in your favor, but when you are committed to your vision day in and day out, you will prevail.
Aligned with your values-Each one of us has important values that’s ingrained in our heart. A great vision can encompass those values you cherish and want to fulfill in your life.
Serves others-Is your vision self-serving or serving others? Are you satisfied with just your own personal success or the success of others growing and living up to their potential? Great leaders became great when their vision included and served others in their journey.
Articulating a compelling vision for yourself and others can be very empowering. Your vision can set the tone for people to rally around a purpose bigger than themselves.
“Good leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” Jack Welch