Recently I read this quote from Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges in their classic leadership book: “Lead Like Jesus”
A Vision, or view of the future, is an ongoing, evolving, hopeful look into the future that stirs the hearts and minds of people who know they will never see its end or limit.
As the writer of Proverbs so aptly states, “Where there is no vision the people perish…” Leaders must keep their eyes on the horizon and dream of days to come.
This quote challenges me because it reminds me that leadership is a journey rather than a destination. Leadership boils down to a relationship between the leader and his or her people.
The words that jump off the page to me are evolving, hopeful and stirs. I like the authors’ perspective. From experience I have learned that a long term vision will “evolve” and change overtime. Much like a battle plan must adapt the moment the troops hit the field of battle a good leader follows the “north star” of the vision while maneuevering around the trees and obstacles along the path.
The word “hopeful” captures the essence of a powerful moving vision. In my opinion a vision must generate hope or it will move no one. When a situation is hopeless people tend to give up and give in. A courageous visionary leader must instill hope as a foundation for positive change.
The final word “stirs” reminds me that leaders revolves around movement not ideas. You can have a great idea but if you do not stir the hearts and minds of your followers to action, your idea will make little difference. I believe Jesus’ use of stories and powerful images stirred the hearts of his followers. In addition, Jesus’example of courageous servant leadership set the tone for the future of the Kingdom of God. If your followers can sleep through your vision casting, you need to go back to the drawing board immediately. Stirring the hearts of people means much more than emotional appeals. It means dreaming dreams others can see themselves as a part of their fulfillment.
Leaders, ask yourself a hard question today. Where are you going and do the people who follow you really want to go there with you?