Monday, March 26, 2012

Without Vision, There is No Leadership

In his book, The Power of Team Leadership, George Barna states, "Vision is to a leader as air is to a human being: Without it, you die.”  This is true.  Effective leaders have a clear and motivating vision for their organizations.  More than that, effective leaders understand the necessity for their team to understand and catch the vision if it is ever going to be realized.  A leader may see the vision clearly, nevertheless, that vision is of little value if the people cannot see it clearly.

A vision of any value that is worth achieving cannot be accomplished solo.  Worthwhile visions require a team, working together, to realize the dream.  An ancient Chinese proverb put it like this: “If your vision is for one year, plant wheat.  If your vision is for a decade, plant trees.  If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people.”

It is the responsibility of the leader to articulate the vision in a clear and compelling manner.  Barna says, “If you cannot articulate a clear picture of what you are seeking to achieve, how can you lead people there?”  Leadership is about taking people somewhere.  Without a clear and compelling vision, where would you lead them?

In his book, Barna shares four vision statements that all leaders should remember:

1. Vision inspires people by providing them with hope, meaning, and significant challenges; the absence of vision robs them of inspiration.

2. Vision attracts people to a cause by giving them something worth investing in and something to focus on that transcends the mundane endeavors of daily life; the absence of vision relegates them to a life of insignificance and disengagement from things that have eternal meaning.

3. Vision builds community by providing people with a common purpose and putting their natural competitiveness and pettiness in perspective; the absence of vision prevents them from building life-changing relationships and from diminishing the tendency to see the worst in others.

4. Vision sustains people by giving them a compelling reason to persevere and to stay focused on what really matters; the absence of vision facilitates majoring on the minors.

Become a person of vision.  Find your vision and always remember that you are the champion of the vision.