Thought for the Week: Vision is for the Tough Times

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm." Publilius Syrus (~100 BC)

I'm a big proponent for leadership vision. I also occasionally catch grief for this because visions, to You need a vision before rough times some, are just "platitudes laminated and posted on the wall." Fortunately, that's not true. In fact, we call those "platitudes laminated and posted on the wall." Visions have nothing to do with lamination, although they do have something to do with communication.

A leader's vision is exciting. It represents "what could be." It's specific enough to represent the essence of what they hope for and engaging enough to allow others to have faith. The translation of a leader's vision into words is difficult because a vision is a passion…a point about which we can get excited. But words are what we have, so it is well worth the effort to try to articulate your vision once you understand what it is.

A leader's vision can be inspiring when things are going well, but it can be crucial when things are tough. It is the leader who has successfully enrolled others in the vision that can focus on steering the ship rather than having to remind, cajole and sell people on the destination. The crew can (and will) take care of keeping people focused if the vision already means something to them as well.

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