A leader without a vision is a leader without a head. A leader without a vision is a wandering leader. A leader without a vision is a rolling stone without a moss.
I have to say, to most, a vision is a dream. To leaders, a vision becomes a set of goals that they create for themselves and for their existing or fictional organization. To successful leaders, a vision is a dream that encompass their values and morals, that seems unrealistic but that is yet anchored in reality, that is ingrained in their DNA and adaptable to their environment.
Wondering why is it important to create a leadership vision and by what measure leaders sustain their vision?
A lot of people have a vision for their life. However, most of them do not pursue it or don’t acknowledge it because it seems unattainable or far-fetched, because they inspire others and not themselves, they are afraid, they are discouraged or they are too busy to look within to act upon their vision.
Nonetheless, people without vision are impotent to perform and remain bitter or frustrated. It is the vision that leads you and propels you forward, that wakes you up in the morning, that gives you purpose, that drive your performance, that is communicated to your employees, that gives meaning to your actions and decisions, and that leans on your belief systems.
Leaders should be pushing a vision for their life, for their family or their organization and it shouldn’t matter whether they have the right relationships, enough money, enough favors, or have hired people with the desired skill set.
The leadership vision has to be intrinsic, greater than the obvious, has to be overwhelming, powerful and so inspiring that it annoys everyone else. It becomes essential to protect that vision and not to let anyone intimidate that vision or impose their vision.
Leaders with a vision are ambitious and satisfied with their lives, become hopeful and optimistic about the future, invite change, select their employees according to their strengths and not their weaknesses, are daring and don’t fear failure, are emotionally invested in their goals, flexible, persistent, resistant to social pressure and are convinced of their future success.
How to create a leadership vision? How to build your vision from the ground up?
First of all, a leadership vision is sometimes born when you are afflicted or when the situation is unbearable.
Keep in mind, a leadership vision does not appear suddenly out of the blue. It takes time and a thorough self-assessment and a proper knowledge of your environment in order to express your vision. A vision is invisible but you have to believe in it, conceive it and hold on to it.
To create a leadership vision, it is therefore fundamental that:
- you get to know yourself by assessing your strengths and weaknesses.
- you define your core values by identifying the most important life events and your reactions to them.
- you set realistic yet demanding goals. Setting goals will allow you to lay out your ideas, to have a direction, to give you the desire to set wheels in motion, to grow and improve, set priorities and measure your progress. There doesn’t need to be a full detailed plan.
- you keep your goal descriptions clear, short and simple, personal, and focused on your character, core values and morals.
- your dreams challenge the status quo, seeks excellence, increase everyone’s purpose and motivation.
- you adapt, stretch or change your dreams through time. Revisiting your dream will allow you to renew your strategy, to navigate difficult situations with a flexible mind and to see beyond obstacles.
How to sustain your leadership vision?
Once you have your vision in place, in order to make it more effective and vivid:
- Revisit your vision from time to time to make sure that it is up to date.
- Write a vision statement for your business to establish lawful and moral guidelines for your employees and for yourself.
- Ground your vision into reality, demonstrate it within the company’s culture, values and directions, products and employees.
- Follow through on your promises and commitments. Invest yourself in insignificant task as much as in important tasks. There is nothing that is below you that should be done with quality and conviction.
- Acquire more character than workplace competencies.
- Remain optimistic throughout challenges in order to motivate your team.
- Regularly communicated your updated vision by crafting stories around your vision. Involve your employees to instill loyalty, commitment, motivation and alignment, to challenge them and to give them purpose. These leaders hire people, transfer their vision to them and bring out the best in them. Don’t force your vision on your team, instead invite them in the process and help them build it up.
- Avoid pleasing the naysayers.
- Encourage others to dream big.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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