a man pointing to the word vision as if he were pressing it on a screen

“Leadership is the ability to transfer vision into reality”

Vision Is A Must!

There are some that would say that vision is being able to speak about the future so clear that it sounds as if you’re talking about the past. Whether you agree or disagree with the statement isn’t the point. The point as you will discover throughout the remainder of this article is the heart hidden behind the statement. So be sure to read every word until the end. Because thoroughly understanding the heart is what will improve your employees and business!

What is your company’s vision? If I asked you what are the five things your company is currently working on for the next six months (3rd and 4th quarters) could you tell me? If you have employees, could they?

Firstly, as leaders of our own businesses, departments, and or homes it is important that we have vision. Secondly, whomever we allow to assist, and support make our vision a reality should understand the vision just as good as us OR better!

The Runner & The Old Man

Now I will admit that this story may not directly correlate for some, BUT I love it and it paints a clear picture! Let me know what you think below in the comments!

I once heard a story of a man who loved to run. This man would run the same path every day and, on this path, he would always see an old man fishing. He ran the path so often that he and the old man developed an undeclared distant friendship. Although they didn’t verbally speak the hand waves they exchanged daily represented a thousand words. One day the man got dressed and put on his running shoes and left the house. As he came around the bend, he noticed the old man was not in his usual spot. He quickly thought to himself this was unusual but perhaps he took the day off. When he went for his run the next day, he encountered the same, maybe he’s on vacation he thought.

As the days went by the old man’s absence continued. The runner became worrisome but ultimately, he knew there was nothing he could do so his heart saddened. Until, one day he decided to run a new path. On this path he saw the old man he had been missing and longing to see. Upon seeing him he immediately ran over to him. Excitedly he asked him where you have been? The old man responded in sorrow, I had to switch ponds because the fish were becoming too big for my pan. Confused, the running man asked the old man, why didn’t you just use a larger frying pan?

Blind Leading the Blind

What is it that you desire to do? What are you trying to accomplish? What’s the purpose? I ask these questions to both inspire and empower you to critically think. Had the old man understood his desire, which was to fish at the same pond every day. Had he understood what he was trying to accomplish, which was to fulfill one of the six basic needs that being certainty/comfort. If he understood the purpose, which was to provide (1/3 of what every man is created to do). He would of never switched ponds but simply switched his approach

You can easily answer the questions above with vision. Having vision enables one to decisively make adjustments without unnecessary catastrophic sacrifices. Fortunately, many leaders do an amazing job of creating and having a vision. Some may even do well at relaying that message to next level leaders. Unfortunately, leaders often drop the ball when it comes to instilling that vision to those that really matter. Right now what I’d like you to do is think about the worst job you have ever had. Take a couple of minutes and then come back, I guarantee I’ll still be here.

You can easily trace and associate this concept in any underperforming company as well as companies struggling with high turnover rates. You’ve probably experienced the following: horrible management, lack of direction, disappointing training/training experiences, toxic cultures, etc. It all stems from the vision/path of the company not being clear or it not being concisely communicated.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve consulted with companies and persons who have not had a vision or a vision statement. This is foundational for individuals and companies. This is what illustrates to both yourself and stakeholders your purpose. Without it, you equip yourself with an unwanted handicap! Without it the culture/environment and people your company NEEDS to thrive can’t be developed or acquired and retained!!

Why Is Culture Important?

How important is culture? Great Question! Recent studies by builtin show that 65% of people believe culture to be the deciding factor as to whether employees stay or leave. How does this relate to vision? As high performing leaders we all understand the importance of efficiency. I’m sure we’d all agree that having the same person working on our vision would create synergy. Opposed to having revolving new persons working on said vision. Understanding where you’re going and how you’re getting there innately empowers individuals to algin their talents and synergistically build. Ultimately, enriching and making your vision better.

As you continue read my articles, you’ll hear me relentlessly preach it’s always bigger than you! Your objective should be to out serve the people who are positively contributing towards your vision. This is called servant leadership. Which is one of the founding principles of every high performing leader.

Vision Creates Action

I have a saying that I’d like to share with you today. If you lack discipline its because you lack clarity of your vision.

If you or your employees are having difficulty making decisive decisions. Or there’s constant confusion. I’d argue it’s due to the lack of understanding the vison:

  1. What you’re trying to achieve/create/build.
  2. Where you’re trying to go.
  3. How you’ll get there.

Providing clarity in understanding the vision instantly increases their ability to maximize their potential. As time passes and your business or department develops you will become clearer on these. As clarity reveals itself it is your duty to relay the information intentionally and accurately to those under your leadership.

The heart behind the first quote of the article is knowing and understanding that as high performing leaders, business owners, fathers, husbands, etc. We are relied upon to lead, which I’m sure many can relate to. This responsibility, whether it is verbally spoken or not can sometimes be an overwhelming pressure. Wherever it comes from, be it our spouses, children, employees, co-workers, etc. The task can be eased with vision. Because vision provides clarity and clarity stimulates synergy.  We should be striving to explain our vision in detail as one describes events that have already occurred.

In doing so it equips whoever chooses to contribute with the necessary eyewear required to hone in. I’ll leave you with this quote from one of the world greatest motivational speakers and influencers Eric Thomas, “Although my circumstance was homeless, my vision wasn’t”. Whatever circumstance you are currently facing. Your vision can change your culture and your culture will change your environment. Your environment will change the trajectory of your life and business!

Remember It’s Always Bigger Than You!!

– Lionel Alexander III

Check out the other articles on Leadership and Business.

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