Where there is no vision the people perish… Proverbs 29:18 (The Bible)
So how important do you think vision is for successful leadership?
Looking at the piece of scripture, it does not seem important for leadership. Note I did not say vision is not important. It is very important. I just want to make sure you understand who the benefiting party is. Think about it, who benefits most from a strong vision?
Is it the leader?
Is it the people he/she leads?
Referring back to our piece of scripture, it seems it is the people, not the leader who suffers when there is not a strong vision.
Why is vision so important for the organization and therefore by implication for the leader?
Without Vision You Will Get There, Even Though You Don’t Know Where “There” Is
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where…” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“…So long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Without vision, your organization will experience the same problem Alice did. They want to go somewhere, but don’t know where to go. This creates high levels of frustration.
People need to know where they are going. Nobody likes feeling lost.
Clearly communicated, it fills the need for direction people crave. It indicates direction, gives an idea of the amount of time involved and most importantly describes the destination. In the absence of a clear vision, your people get frustrated and start feeling lost.
Vision Builds Trust In the Organization
Providing a sense of direction brings comfort to people and builds trust in the leader’s ability and leadership style. A clearly communicated direction, endorsed by the leader through action, creates a powerful trust basis for people to not only follow, but commit to the vision. It is once again more important for the people than for the leader.
Vision Creates a Feeling of Cohesion
When people start to trust you as leader, they start working together towards a common goal. When people start working together, it creates strong feelings of belonging. A vision powerfully communicated has the ability to pull people together and create cohesion.
Once there is a feeling of belonging, the natural next step is to do something to make the vision a reality. Having a clear direction of where to go, and a clear understanding of what to achieve, taking action becomes very easy. Once again vision affects people more than it affects the leaders.
Therefore vision is an important component of successful organizations. Because it affects people vision is not important for leaders, but it is something a leader cannot do without.
How often you strengthen the vision for the people you lead?
How do you formulate this vision and how do you share it?