According to Theodore Hesburgh, the very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It’s got to be a vision you articulate clearly and forcefully on every occasion. As a leader, you win the heart of followers when they know your purpose. It is not enough to be busy. The question is: why am I busy? Having a clear vision in what you are doing enables you to convince the world that it is richer with you than without you—and this is a fundamental key to achieving business success.
There’s nothing more demoralizing than a leader who can’t clearly articulate why we’re doing what we’re doing.
As an entrepreneur, even before you set out to write a business plan, you must answer these two fundamental questions: (1) Why am I in this business and (2) What do I want out of it. Your answer will quickly prompt other questions; such as the following: Will the business be my principal career activity and primary source of income or a secondary pursuit? Am I launching it as an investment to sell as soon as I can? Or, do I envision something more permanent? Will it be a family business, and is providing jobs to family members as my primary motivation? Answers to these and related questions will have an impact on the business’s aims, its development, and its strategies.
A business that knows why it exists, instead of just what it produces, can take a long term view, spot risks and seize opportunities. You are able to give your company a clear sense of direction that keeps you focused and inspire your employees.
As a leader, clear about why you are in business makes it easier to attract customers and investors to your business. If the employees share the vision of the company, they will be more motivated in their work. Having a vision keeps you focused on what is important and stops you from getting sidetracked. If you know why you are in business, it is easier to create a marketing strategy.
Vision has been clearly defined as the crystal clear mental picture of the future. As the saying goes, “your vision is your future”. A vision is something that the whole company works towards and it keeps them going until it is achieved.
The question is: Can you see, do you see where your business is going? How often do you talk about the ways in which what you are doing in your area is related to the overall mission? Do you think and speak inspiringly about what your business is doing and about the future of the business?
According to Myles Munroe, a renowned international speaker, “One person with vision is greater than the passive force of ninety-nine people who are merely interested in doing or becoming something.” All leaders should have a vision for the job that he or she is doing. It is important to have the right kind of vision for this is extremely crucial in holding together the various aspects of the job. A misplaced vision will not only lead the employees astray but also ruin the whole business. A clear vision will get you started and also help you see the work through in a successful way.
Vision is essential to good leadership. Vision provides direction and without direction, there’s not much point to all that planning; your small business will still flail about. So if you don’t have one already, take your first step towards leadership by creating a Vision Statement for your business. Because it embodies your dreams and your passions, a vision statement will also serve as a leadership vision.
Sharing your leadership vision helps your vision to grow and your leadership to develop. As you tell your leadership vision to others, you will strengthen your own belief in your vision and strengthen your determination to make your leadership vision become reality. And other people will start to see you as a person who’s “going places”. Your leadership skills will grow as you and other people recognize you as a person with leadership potential.
Remember, most businesses were started because the founder had a vision about what he or she could create. Sharing that vision with others in a way that compels them to act is the secret to a successful leadership vision. Like the legendary Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE noted, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
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