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Vision and Its Role in Leadership

As a leader, visualizing your success is one of the very first things that should be on your checklist. You might even want to do it every day. You have to imagine a better world before you can motivate people to help you make it a reality.

Think Big and Then Think Bigger

It's perfectly acceptable if you didn't make your vision become reality at the end of a few years — or even at the end of a career — still continue to think big. Instead of setting your sights on being like a hero, think about what that role model's vision would have been. After that, set your sights higher. If you want to be the highest performer in your local market, maybe you should envision leading your industry. 

Visualize Your Hole-in-One

Think of it like golf. When you step up to a par three hole, what's your ideal outcome? Every time the green is within your reach, you probably have a vision of the ball sailing, rolling along and dropping right into the hole for a perfect hole-in-one.  

How many par threes have you played in your golf career? How many holes-in-one have you scored? If your mission is to make every single shot a hole-in-one, then almost every swing you make is destined to end in failure. If your vision is to achieve this legendary shot, then it becomes the reason you work on your swing, read the course and generally improve your game. 

Move Through Your Missions

Vision shouldn't change when you meet individual landmarks. If you make a hole-in-one, you wouldn't stop playing golf. If your next tee shot doesn't land in the hole, you wouldn't consider yourself a failure.

As you move forward, your vision remains a guiding light and an ideal. It's something that defines you as a leader. It's the essence of your idea of success and it should be behind every action you take on behalf of your company.

Share Your Vision

Your motivation will probably come from within you, but there's more to vision than just driving ahead based on your own convictions. You'll also be putting your idea of success into a form everyone can share in and work towards.

Write out your vision. Make it into a mantra. Condense it, expand it and repeat it. Visualize it every day and let it guide all of your leadership practices. Share it until everyone in your organization can understand and own it.

Own Your Success

With vision, you expect the best possible outcome. It doesn't always turn out that way, but one of the most satisfying moments in life is when your vision becomes a reality. The next time you sink a hole-in-one, you can say — with complete honesty — "That's exactly what I was trying to do."

Phil Gafka