When I start working I was holding already two different university degrees and one M.A. I was rushed to move on business in order to “start working” as I then thought! The knowledge and skills I had were more than enough for any profession, yet, I had the sense, that something missing!
My work was demanding and occupy many hours of my day, leaving me, most of the times, with no energy to focus on what’s important. In time, though, I figure out, what’s missing. Knowledge and skills are not enough, if not directed and fueled by a vision. And that’s what I was missing!
A Vision To Change Your Life
Vision is nothing more than an indented and deliberately designed self-fulfilling prediction. In basic business terms a vision is:
the capacity to envisage future market trends and plan accordingly (Wikipedia: Vision)
A strong vision though based on what’s needed and concerning a lot more people than yourself is a strong factor to provide you focus on your life, tension to your moves and purpose.
My vision was to empower people to pursue their own agendas, and fulfill their dreams! We were at the verge of a new era (early 90’s if I remember correctly) the technology (internet, web, PCs, cellular communications, etc.) and the new business and financing models promise a new prosperity for all have the right knowledge and skills and a proper mindset.
I envisioned a new society based on value, governed by personal merit, and driven by well-educated people able to own their life and business and aiming at constant personal and business development in a global level.
I’d like to have a humane global business ecosystem along to a personal “toolkit” to guarantee personal advance and success toward’s your dreams. A new type of business and a new kind of entrepreneurs (beyond the classical sense)!
What I saw, at the time, in business it was not something I liked. Greed, use less energy and resources drainage for futile purposes, consumerism, unemployment, unequal global economic balance, rapid technological advance, slower societal growth, global warming and many disturbing sights of a poorly designed tomorrow!
We have a lot of things but it seems we have missed something in that course: the human! Everything has happened on behalf of people but more and more people follow instead of lead the new development. And, a lot of people, could not afford and haven’t the power to follow at all the new pace, dictated by the new captains if the industry.
Leadership & Vision
A clear vision and well-articulated vision is important for any leader! A leader, besides all the other characteristics, is defined by his/her vision. A leader should be able to communicate his/her vision to the public in order to plan a course of action and rally people and resources behind his/her causes.
A vision is an important component of who he/she is as a person and for this most of the times, it needs a lot of reflection before even “articulate” a version of your image, capable for communication to 3rd parties (beyond your personal circle of influence)!
To do that, with a degree of success you need to find out what your visions are, decompose it, and re-engineer it in a way everyone can:
- understand it,
- support it,
- share it,
- add to it!
To build something like that, a shared vision, needs a lot of time, vigilance on what’s happening around you and constant feedback for the group people your vision may apply.
A vision always talks about change and a leadership committed to materialize it should be ready to invest a lot of efforts to its development, its propagation and, if that vision is particularly pertinent or strong in relation to pressing problems, to face the opposition may arise in the process.
The Road To A Compelling Vision
As you will imagine, a vision is something that surpasses the person conceive it. Especially when it address pressing problems and speaks to many people, in the same way!
Everyone has his/her opinion on what a good vision is and what it isn’t! But everyone agrees that a vision originated by a person, a man or women who has diagnose a problem and mentally designed a different one to bridge the old with the new and to provide a better alternative to many concerned people!
A person like that, a leader, is not only someone who has the vision, but also someone you can trust, he/she moves based on values, he/she has clear goals, a plan, and a strategy, he/she has excellent communication skills, superior judgement, and you know that what he/she do it is for your benefit!
The vision though is not the man or woman. As I mention, it is something surpass these persons. And for this reason, it is important for anyone (either in business as CEO, owner, employ, etc. or in personal life as a person and owner of his/her life) to reflect on the subject of vision, because a well-crafted vision may change your life.
Beyond everything, a vision is a decision helping tool and for this reason, you need to know how to construct one, in order, your business or yourself be a success (according to your terms, of course!)
According to Ken Blanchard, Bill Hybels, and Phil Hodges (in their excellent book Leadership by the Book: Tools to Transform Your Workplace), a clear vision should include:
- Purpose: This is the reason why the vision developed!
- Image: What the situation described by the image would look liked.
- Values: It is important the vision be based on solid values which are shared not only by the leased but by the people share the vision as well!
- Goals: These are the things have to be done in order to vision is accomplished! The goals should be SMART and its achievement would bring closer the materialization of the vision.