Someone once told me that if the leader is not absolutely clear on his vision his followers will not be clear at all. To move forward and accomplish a task one must have a clear vision, then add to that SMART Goals and Action Steps.
Here are a few thoughts on Vision:
1. A clear vision must communicate a principle for the head and a picture for the heart. This means we must communicate a sentence or a purpose in a statement but we must also describe that principle, or describe our vision in practical terms. This may mean a story, a picture or describing what the future will look like when the vision is fulfilled.
2. Leaders must be men and women who encourage others. There are many, many obstacles and difficulties on the road to fulfilling vision – Finances, People who oppose the vision, Supplies. However, we must commit ourselves to focus on the positive, the potential and the outcome rather than the difficulties. We must always be a person who encourages others. Even when we correct someone we can do it in a positive and encouraging way.
3. Where there is no hope in the future there is no power in the present. If people do not have a future hope they will not be motivated to discipline themselves, learn, sacrifice and do what is necessary to achieve that future hope. Leaders must hold a future hope out for people to see clearly and tell them what they must do to achieve that hope.
4. If you stop learning today you’ll stop leading tomorrow. We can build on what we learned in previous years, but we must also continue to equip ourselves by learning more. We must read, attend seminars, listen to lectures and learn from others to enlarge ourselves to become the person and leader whom God wants us to be.
5. A big vision without core values is like a winding road without guardrails. The guardrails on a narrow mountain road keep us from falling off into danger. The same is true about Core Values. We must have core moral values of what we believe. About what we must do. About what we will never do. These keep us focused morally as we seek to fulfill the vision God has given us. Will we do ANYTHING to fulfill our vision? Cheat? Lie? Cut corners on quality? Take the short cut in developing others? What are your Core Values as a leader?
6. When you communicate vision, always give people something to act upon. Don’t just communicate a vision or declare what you believe about the future, but tell those who listen to you or follow you what they must do – step by step – to move toward that vision. If you don’t know the steps or process to fulfill the vision, you are not clear yourself, therefore, those who are following you will not be clear either. Figure out the vision and at least figure out the general steps to see that vision fulfilled.