Effective vision development, or deciding what we want to accomplish, is one of the most crucial elements of leadership. Knowing that our vision is laser-focused is even more difficult to nail down. Even the word vision conjures up mystical, otherworldly pipedreams for some. If we are going to get something big done, we have to be razor sharp, we don’t have time to be wishy-washy. We have to know that we are dead-on with our plans. So let’s put some teeth into the concept.
How can you know that your vision is on track?
It probably is if…
There is resistance/opposition
The very nature of vision is expanding and stretching. People generally don’t like to be made uncomfortable. But growth never happens without some discomfort. Effective vision challenges the status quo. And people will resist what pushes them out of their comfort zone. If you have no pushback with your vision, you probably need to boost your goals, raise the bar.
There is fear
The unknown is scary. Vision has the power to cause people to look ahead. But the future is absolutely unknown. We feel safe with the current known. Even if it is less than ideal, the here and now is known and, therefore, risk-free. Vision demands that we embrace the unknown. Unless someone is afraid (you or the people in your life), your vision may be anemic
There is risk
True vision takes you to edge of the cliff, close enough to look over and see the amazing potential that lies just ahead. The trouble is, when you get that close to the edge, even the slightest of miscalculations can send you careening down the mountainside. What are you risking with your vision? Are you risking losing something important if your vision fails? Your reputation? Your pride? Your job? If not, your vision needs a boost.
There is pressure
Not all pressure is bad. We all need to have something expected of us. There is no such thing as vision without expectation. You need some pressure to perform. A clearly articulated vision will put you under pressure to fulfill the vision. You need that. If you can’t take pressure, give up on the idea of being a visionary.
There is success
There is no greater joy than to see the realization of one’s vision. It may take 10 years, it may take a lifetime. Eventually, we have to produce something. Unfulfilled vision is bad but not as bad as no vision at all. But I encourage you to hang on to the dream that God has given you. Fight for it, die for it, if necessary. See it through to completion.
So don’t get discouraged if you’re living through some of the stuff I’ve mentioned (especially 1-4!). They may be indicators that you are right on track.
Vision: without it, we’re done.