Leadership always begins with a picture of the future. People will do extraordinary things when a vision resonates deep within them. This picture of the future is vitally important for leaders and their potential followers. Those we attempt to enlist will want to know, “Where are we going? Why does it matter?”
These questions and others like them, will be impossible for the leader to answer without clarity in their own heart and mind regarding the vision. Great leaders always See the Future.
Now, a couple of disclaimers are in order. Leaders are not clairvoyant; nor do they know all that the future holds. However, most do embrace the philosophy of Peter Drucker when he said:
“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
Leaders are in the inventing the future business. Therefore, the leader must have some idea what he or she is trying to invent. Vision is absolutely critical. Because of the inherent uncertainty when dealing with the future, the leader often will talk more about goals, themes and values and less about tactics. The leader simply doesn’t know every move that will be made along the journey. However, don't undervalue these broad descriptions of a preferred future.
It is the vision that creates passion, resolve, determination and energy for the leader. The vision fuels the leader – then, he or she can inspire and enlist those who embrace the dream and help make it a reality.
Everything rises and falls on leadership and leadership begins with a picture of the future. What are you trying to achieve? What are you trying to accomplish? What are you trying to become? Why does it matter to you and to the world? Your followers need answers to these questions and you do too.
What’s your vision?