VISION entails the ability of seeing the invisible. It is a process of creating the future in your mind. It is seeing the future before it is tangible and then working towards making that dream a reality. You can go as far as your created vision. You can go as far as you dream. People don’t necessary follow a leader, they follow the vision in a leader. The late Roy Bennett once said: “Leaders are limited by their vision rather than by their abilities.”
SUCCESS LIFE: JONAH NYONI
John C Maxwell, in his book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader, wrote: “Vision is everything for a leader. It is utterly indispensable. Why? Because vision leads the leader. It paints the target. It sparks and fuels the fire within, and draws him forward. It is also the fire lighter for others who follow that leader. Show me a leader without vision, and I will show you someone who isn’t going anywhere.”
Building a vision
A leader has to build a vision. There are five ways you must consider in building a vision.
Look inside: Everything starts within. As a human being, you are given the ability to think and create pictures in the mind. Use that ability.
Look outside: There are problems, situations and opportunities around us. Open your eyes and see! As a leader have an eye to see opportunities.
Look beside: There are success stories from people we know.
Look before: The future has so many possibilities. Think of what you can do in the future and your contributions to change.
Look above: God has the ultimate power. Have a quiet time and hear the small, still voice. Some call it the gut power.
Casting a vision entails a lot of things and it has to be done systematically by the leader to other team players. Vision casting empowers team members to accept the vision, own it, embrace it to see what you see, keep focused, and live it.
Casting the vision looks at three basic things; past, present and the future. The past: What did we do right? What improvements did we see? What opportunities did we have; both that where lost and capitalised on?
The present: What improvements do we need to make to change or increase our results?
The future: What changes do we need to make as we face the future? These questions can be fully answered when we have a vision.
Things you must consider when casting the vision…
Our minds work in pictures and the vividness of the future that we create in our minds. The leader has to have a clear picture of the future. Secondly, communicate and clearly paint the picture to others, particularly team members in the organisation. With most companies that I have trained, you will only realise what they take to be the dream is that dangling vision board in the office and the leader assumes that others will know it. Share your mental pictures with others and don’t leave your vision to chance.
Passion is the fuel that drives the whole purpose of a leader. Passion is infectious. Be sold to the vision as a leader and others will also follow. Passion must be anchored by faith. Faith is the intuitive conviction that makes us to believe that we are able to create the future and even make it better. It’s unfortunate to try to make others to work towards goals that you do not have a conviction of. It’s like trying to sell a product that you (as the seller) are not interested in. What gets you excited about the vision before you share it with others? Does the vision touch your heart? What moves the hearts usually consumes us.
It’s necessary time to remind other team leaders and players why an organisation or institute exists. This will clearly spell out the goals, mission and objectives. Secondly, have people that are willing to grow the vision.
Success is not by mistake or mere fate. Success is based on a conscious effort laid on a clear plan. Your plan gives the predictions of the future growth rate, expected results and future profits. The growth forecast is based on the growth engines that are to drive the company, such as identifying new markets for your products and services, new technologies that you are to adopt in order to bring efficacy to the production rate, strategic alliances or partnerships that you get into and new frontiers that you want to surpass. Some leaders and managers are just on auto-pilot; they do not even have one year, five-year and ten-year goals. Anyone who works without a plan is like trying to travel into a bushy land without a rudder or map.
People are the major component of your plan. People help you fulfil the dream, and as a result, you need people relevant to the vision. The people-factor helps answer issues such as: What skills might I need to compliment my needs and those of the organisation? What new mindsets could I employ to increase the customer base? Announce the vision to every employee and this can be through meetings or memos. The vision shows us our destiny and as a result everyone in the company should know where we intend to go, thereby instilling the unity of purpose. Casting the vision gives (you as a leader) feedback from others.
The leader has to have the intuitive or cognitive ability to read into the future or new market trends. There are new trends that are emerging and it’s the duty of the leader to use relevant tools to win in such markets. What worked some years back might not work in the future that we are stepping into. So in casting the vision, be open-minded and allow team players to be involved in expanding and contributing to your vision.
Parting point: Persistence keeps the dream moving. To avoid setbacks or sidetracks, constantly remind others of the vision. Be committed to the vision. This reminds us what we are all about in an organisation. Work the vision, celebrate the vision and put a reward system.
Napoleon Hill (1953: 20), in the e-book Think and Grow Rich, said “Real leaders of the world always have been men who harnessed, and put into practical use, the intangible, unseen forces of unborn opportunity, and have converted those forces (or impulses of thought) into skyscrapers, cities, factories, airplanes, automobiles, and every form of convenience that makes life more pleasant”. See more and be more. Dream, Draw and do! You better start leading with a vision!
Jonah Nyoni is an author, success coach and certified leadership/business trainer. He is the author of Inspiration for Success and Success Within Reach. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter@jonahnyoni.