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Leaders Are Visionaries

Leaders are visionaries. They possess a steady influx of information, and then formulate a plan to make a possibility become true reality.

When entering the national command center in the Pentagon, where serious issues are handled, there is this quote on a wall taken from the Old Testament, which states, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." Vision is the characteristic of the leader to have foresight, to be able to look ahead, to envision what might happen in the future. Vision is something a leader not only possesses, but if they're wise, will seek input from the leadership team and others before concluding the right direction to go in the years ahead.

Many things should be considered as the vision materializes, but one the vision is complete and written down it needs to be communicated to the organization. Having a vision is essential for the team, business, fighter squadron, or church. Without it, "the people will perish."

Author Helen Keller, when asked what would be worse than being born blind, responded, "To have sight without vision."

Herb Kellerher, CEO of Southwest Airlines, says his vision is to have a company where "kindness and the human spirit are nurtured," where you "do what customers want and are happy in your work."

Abraham Lincoln said, "Vision is a clear, concise statement of the direction your organization should be going and justifies the actions you take."

Vision is inspiration that motivates. Vision gives us a sense of purpose, work, and sacrifice. We can all buy into future plans so we are working together for a common goal.

There are three subheading in this characteristic call vision. Once the vision is cast and articulated nothing will occur unless three things happen:

  1. Planning. We should plan if we are to successfully fulfill a vision. Planning needs to be very meticulous. All factors must be considered. We need to plan in such a way that no stone is left unturned. We carefully plan and then we execute with "rigid flexibility." Planning is essential in order to see a vision accomplished.
  2. Goal Setting. In the process of planning we set goals, both short term and long term. Short term goals are easily measurable, so we can determine if things are going too fast or too slow. Goal setting causes the team to stretch itself, to reach forward, to accomplish what they did not think they could accomplish. Goals should not be set so high the organization knows they can never attain them. A reasonable goal causes people to stretch and do more than they ever thought possible.
  3. Initiative. There are many good visions with good planning and good goal setting that never come to fruition because the leader does not have the courage to take the initiative.

When vision, planning, goal setting, and initiative all come together in a reasonable way and are accurately communicated, they you'll see some action. Some would say that casting a vision isn't necessary today. I would suggest vision is more important today than ever. Our nation will stagnate and perish without a vision.

President Abe Lincoln said, "We must plan for the future, because those who insist on living in the present are married to the past."

John Maxwell in his book Developing the Leader Within You wrote, "With vision the leader is on a mission and a contagious spirit is felt among the crowd until others begin to rise alongside the leader.

Yes, vision can and will happen. The question is, could you be a leader who will look ahead and see the great things waiting to be accomplished?

Excerpt from The DNA Of Leadership by Brig. General Dick Abel.

Brigadier General Dick Abel, USAF (Retired), is an internationally known speaker on family values, military affairs, and moral leadership. During his 30 year career he served three 4-star admirals and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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