To be a Visionary Leader, you must have a Vision.
Every Leader has a guiding Vision. One that underpins everything they do. Over 30
years ago, I had mine. It only lasted a few seconds, yet it had a profound impact on
me. It’s defined every action I’ve taken since, and each decision I make.
“Your vision is a ‘picture’ of what you aspire to – and what inspires you – in your work
life,” the University of Berkeley explains. When my vision was still unconscious, I was guided by
a strong desire to teach. I have done that in a number of capacities, but most of all, by being a teller
of stories, with a focus on uplifting and empowering people. Your vision is different to a plan. It’s your mission, your drive. The fuel in the engine. Both require focus, but your plan is how your vision gets actioned.
Qualities of an empowering vision:
· Environment: I have not yet fully inhabited my vision, but I consciously do so more each day. Environment is key. When you’re in the right one, your vision blooms. In
the wrong one, it withers and dies. Visions cannot exist or thrive in a negative, fearful
environment, any more than you can. Make sure your environment supports and
· Clarity: Your vision needs to be succinct, simple. When it is, it acts like a template,
nourishing your experience and communicating who you are. It has the power to light
up the dark corners of your inner and outer world.
· Meaningful: It has to motivate you at a very deep level. It can only do this if it
resonates so completely that it is fully you. How it translates will vary, but the story it
underpins will always be the same. It’s part of a never-ending dialogue between you
and your environment.
· Personal: Claiming ownership is a commitment to living it. You should feel
compelled by it, motivated by it. For this reason, don’t ever try and label or contain it,
because if you do, you will restrict it – and it will never stand the test of time.
· Growth: Your vision is meant to stretch and challenge you to be a little better than
you were yesterday. It’s your best friend and teacher, the perfect hard-soft
How do you find your vision?
· Harness your experience. Sit and close your eyes. Imagine or (set your intention
to) see everything you’ve done in your career to date that you’ve loved. Take a deep
breath and submerge yourself like an expert diver looking for a glimpse of something
rare and precious.
· Swim amongst the memories. Get into a reporter’s mindset. Be an observer and
a recorder of experiences, nothing more. Watch the strands come together. Write
down what strikes you.
· Timing is everything. Do this every time you feel called to. Don’t be compulsive or
impatient. Your vision will reveal itself to you in perfect clarity when the time is right.
· Take action. Inhabit each version of your evolving vision so closely that actioning it
becomes not just a choice, but an inevitability. Let it be your guiding light.
My vision is a simple one. It’s set against a dark background, like night sky.
Wherever I turn my focus, lights illuminate, like bright stars. Not all of them do,
because that was never the plan. However, the ones that are ready – do.
Once you have crystallised, inhabited, and consciously action your vision
every day, find the right environment which allows it not just to exist, but