This is part 5 of a 12 part series that I call the 12 X’s of Leadership
These days there is much written and said about the power of vision. Corporate boards of directors are encouraged to have mission and vision statements. Consultants criss-cross our country helping their clients to facilitate “vision meetings”. Leaders are expected to “cast the vision” for the organization. I have even run across the phrase “visioneering”.
Now, while there are many different ways to define a vision or a vision statement, I tend to like the “easy to remember” ones like this:
Vision – a picture of where you see yourself (or your department, team, family, organization, whatever) in “5,10,20” years…you pick the number.
The experts say that vision helps to motivate us (or our teammates, employees, partners, etc.) to “stay the course”, to “keep going when the going gets tough”, to “never give up and never give in”.
A vision should inspire, empower, and motivate.
I like this idea and have almost always heard it exclusively used when discussing organizations. But I think people should have personal vision statements too. [If you missed it go back and check out Part 2 of this 12 part series—the one entitled Extract a Dream.]
But here is where I break away from the pack of “you need to have a vision statement folks”. While having a vision is great, it is only the first step. I think equally important is Expressing Your Vision to Others.
There is something transformational that takes place when you articulate your vision.
- It seals commitment.
- It invites accountability
- It galvanizes resolve.
And that is only part of the benefit. When we express our visions to others it is amazing to watch them line up behind us to help us get there.
When I finally made the decision to write my first book Sticks & Stones Exposed: The Power of Our Words, I didn’t tell anyone. Honestly, I think I was afraid I would fail and then have to answer all the questions about when it was coming out, how it was going and who was going to publish it, yada, yada, yada.
Now, while I had a vision of writing a book, I was in way over my head. I had never written a book. I didn’t know how to find a publisher, design a cover, find out if my working title had ever been used before, how to get an ISBN number, how to get a Library of Congress number, and so many other details. It seemed every day I discovered yet another aspect about which I had no clue.
It was overwhelming and disheartening and my book project slowed to a frozen snail’s pace.
So finally, with a bit of fear and trepidation, I whispered my vision to another person. They got all excited about my project and referred me to someone who knew about book cover design who knew someone that had a publisher friend who knew someone who had written a book, etc. The domino effect was in full swing. It seemed the more I expressed my vision to others; the more I met people who were excited to help me accomplish my dream! And together we did it.
Express your vision to others and watch great things happen!