The desire to be part of something larger than ourselves, something worthy of our efforts, is universal. That something is what I call a “vision”, and while almost everyone wants to be part of a vision, very few people are actually visionaries. They are the ones that can see into the future and want to take us on an awesome journey. They ask questions like, “What if…?” and “Why not…?”
People of vision (visionaries) are rare. What is even more rare are visionary leaders. These are not just people of vision, but also people who can lead the vision. They inspire others to get onboard, use their talents and gifts, and fulfill the goals on the way to accomplishing their vision. What is much more prevalent are people of vision who partner with leaders that align with their vision. The leader has the talent to inspire others to follow the vision, even when they are not the person with the vision.
Why is vision important?
Executing a vision is what separates a leader from a manager. A leader’s main task is to inspire others to follow him or her on the journey of the vision. Leaders encourage others to aspire to something larger than themselves and to put their best efforts into its attainment. Processes, procedures, and short term results are the domain of managers, and while those are critical functions of any endeavor they are not what makes a great leader.
Sadly, most organizations today seem to emphasize the roles of management. Whether in business, politics, or the Church leadership with vision is greatly lacking and the catastrophic effects are seem everywhere. The admonition found in Solomon’s Proverb 29:18 seems to be coming true:
Where there is no vision, the people perish (are unrestrained).
If you are not part of a vision you may find
- you feel hopeless
- you feel helpless
- you feel lonely
- you feel despair
- you feel you have to rely on yourself for everything
- you feel insignificant
- you feel nothing really matters
So, is it really the job of a leader to provide a vision for those in your charge? YES!
If you are a leader this is something you should want to do. And your followers–well, they are desperate for you to lead. That is the burden and the prize of being a leader.