Visionaries are the most powerful leaders. Some may even argue that they’re the only real leaders – those without it are simply managers.
A visionary is someone with a clear vision for the future – what it holds, what it looks like, and what work is necessary to get there. They can hold fast to this vision even when hiccups and challenges inevitably arise, and they can keep the end goal in sight even when neck-deep in the details.
Without vision, a leader acts more as a manager, transactionally ensuring all projects and timelines get met, goals are primarily achieved, and workers are minimally engaged in the tasks at hand. It sets the tone for the rest of the team, encouraging them to work more actively toward goals.
Any good visionary starts with a vision statement. What is a vision statement? Let’s find out.
What is Leadership Vision
Leadership vision is what guides and drives improvement within a company. It permeates every aspect of a workplace and informs every team member’s actions, values, work ethic, beliefs, and goals. It attracts the right people and positively manifests in every person involved because they, too, want to share in the vision.
Leadership vision describes the ability to see the potential of the present to develop something amazing in the future. While no one can predict the future, a visionary leader can foresee the ultimate success of a future time and direct the actions necessary to make that vision a reality.
It’s not just a statement written on a piece of paper or a computer file somewhere, either. It’s demonstrated in a leader’s actions, beliefs, and values and observed every day in everything the leader does.
Why Leadership Matters
Leadership vision is powerful, and it matters if any leader wants to find success in whatever it is they’re doing. When a leader defines, shares, and embodies their leadership vision, it’s palpable and guides every day of work. It’s the fuel for the continuous improvement of the organization at large.
In some ways, it’s a mix of positive thinking, determination, manifestation, unshakable beliefs, and foundational values.
Leaders with vision walk the walk, while leaders without it simply talk the talk. It’s this discrepancy of action that makes all the difference. It helps everyone else on the team stay focused on the same result, increasing the chances of achieving these goals.
It can also help manage performance by reinforcing the best metrics to measure success and reevaluating as needed to ensure the direction is consistent and the drive is strong.
Developing a Vision
To develop and carry out a vision, there are three primary steps. First, a leader needs to lay it all out by exploring and defining a vision statement. Next, they should execute this vision with a detailed plan. Finally, they’ll revisit their vision statement and regroup, evaluating how they can improve their strategies and tactics to better support this vision statement, adjusting as they go.
Defining the Vision Statement
What is a vision statement? A vision statement is a powerful tool that relays a clear articulation of what an organization does, why it does it, and what the ultimate vision or goal is. It differs from a mission statement, which is more defined by the culture and values of an organization.
Learning how to write a vision statement is simple. Imagine the big picture – the ultimate success the organization will reach, the benefits this provides everyone, and how that would feel. What words or phrases stick out that communicate this vision? This is the time to brainstorm, write ideas down on a sheet of paper, and play around until a single statement begins to stand out.
A vision statement that works is the foundation to success.
Next, a good leader must execute. They must then define the order and steps to take to accomplish this ultimate vision. This will be an ongoing process.
Revisiting and Regrouping
Continuous improvement within a company only happens when leaders frequently evaluate their activities and results and assess whether or not they are successful and what changes they can make to produce different results.
At this stage, a leader should revisit their vision statement and execution and look for misalignments. What project took a lot of time but ultimately didn’t push the needle forward? What activities could have used more energy and focus? These are just a few of the questions a strong leader may ask when strengthening and improving their leadership.
To be a leader, one must have a vision. To have a vision, one must have a vision statement.
For a leader who is still asking questions like, “What is a vision statement?” The time is now to dive in, learn about vision statements, and develop one that fits their organization’s goals and can drive it toward success.