- (especially of a person) thinking about or the action of leading a group
planning the future with imagination or wisdom. of people or an organization
|synonyms:||creative guidance, innovative direction,inspired management,|
– “Don’t waste more time wandering aimlessly through life lacking a real purpose.” Mohamed Tohami –
Vision is an essential catalyst to a life that thrives. Vision provides hope and direction. It inspires passion. All great things in life begin with vision. Pursuing a life of faith requires the vision of believing in something more important and more substantial than you. Marrying someone you love comes from a vision of spending your life together. Going to college should always include the vision of walking across the commencement stage and into an even more meaningful life.
My research on the subject discovered four important components of visionary leadership that occur at two levels.
The first level is the Organizational Level. Humans are in organizations all of the time. Families. Companies. Communities. Clubs. Churches.
Thriving organizations have members who possess an envisioned future and shared values.
Envisioned Future: inspired by the leaders in an organization and occurs when members of an organization share common goals and a strategy for achieving those goals. Strategic planning, SWOT analyses, bylaws and personnel policies are all examples of how members of an organization document the direction and parameters of an organization.
TIP: Leaders who thrive are active participants in shaping an organization’s envisioned future in whatever role(s) they serve.
Shared Values: the guiding beliefs, standards or principles embodied and fostered by the leader and members of an organization. The organizational culture is a reflection of the shared values in that organization.
Tip: The leadership of an organization drives the organizational culture and the organizational culture drive how an organization communicates. So, pay close attention to the internal and external messages sent by an organization if you want to understand what that organization values.
The second level is the Personal Level. We live in organizations, but we thrive when we are reaching greater levels of personal potential. Spirituality and Contentment are the components that help us thrive personally.
Contentment: a leader’s understanding and genuine expression of context, purpose and direction in his or her life. Contentment and happiness are not the same thing. We all have challenging moments in our life. Leaders who thrive take time to understand how those challenging moments impact them work from a deep reserve of personal contentment.
Tip: Contentment means we understand that we live by choices rather than circumstances. Circumstances still occur, however we still chose how they impact us.
Spirituality: a powerfully held belief by a leader used to provide meaning in order to interpret life and serve humanity. I often share with the students in my class, “I do not care what you believe. I care that you care about what your believe!” (I really do care about what they believe!)
Tip: Leaders who thrive do so because they have a clear vision and understanding of what they believe, and their actions come from those deeply held beliefs.
I sincerely hope the vision for your life is to thrive, and I also hope these four points help you consider how to get there!
Dr. Gene Crume, President of Judson University in Elgin, IL. – Gene has over 25 years of higher education experience to include senior leadership positions and faculty appointments. He has served as a consultant on issues related to strategic planning, board development, fundraising and external relations with colleges, universities, non-profit organizations, city government and for-profit businesses. Connect with him on facebook or twitter for more insights on visionary leadership.
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