The Seven Qualities of Visionary Leaders
Vision always centers on people never projects, programs, properties, or profits.
Vision focused on anything other than people is ego driven exploitation.
Vision answers the question, “How will we make the world better for others?”
“Vision makes work meaningful.” Jesse Stoner
Vision always drives and directs change-makers but never executes or operationalizes anything. Vision points!
“Being forward-looking is the quality that most separates leaders from individual contributors.” Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner in the Leadership Challenge.
- Creates vitality.
- Focuses energy.
- Explains purpose.
The clearer the vision the greater the vitality.
Apart from clear vision:
- Distraction directs.
- Desperation disrupts.
- Despair discourages.
Vision feels like hope.
Hope creates and energizes vision. Separated from hope, vision is futility. Leaders without hope are lost, along with everyone who follows them.
The chapter on vision in Brad Lomenick’s new book, “The Catalyst Leader,” is titled, “Hopeful.” He explains what vision feels like and does, rather than offering safe definitions. (Brad’s book is the first Christian leadership book I’ve recommended on Leadership Freak.)
Seven qualities of visionary leaders:
Over the years, Brad has spent quality time with the world’s top leaders. He writes, “I’ve observed that the most hopeful, vision-centered leaders are:
- Optimistic about the future.
- Focused on the best in their people. They focus on the unique strengths of every employee.
- Never satisfied but always content. They seem happy where they are but refuse to stay there.
- Consumed with making tomorrow better than today. Hopeful leaders never settle.
- Accepting of change.
- Inclusive, not exclusive. Hopeful leaders invite others into their vision.
- Personally bought in. Vision is inside them.”
Projects, programs, properties, or profits are about goals. Goals express vision. But vision itself is always about people not deliverables.
What are the essential qualities of leaders who inspire hope?
What are the essential qualities of compelling vision?
Super advice! I educate leaders on how to improve their organizations and consistently remind them to focus on people. So many times we get distracted by the managerial aspects that we forget leadership is people-based.
This is a very interesting viewpoint. I, as a leader in my organization, have never considered that Leadership is about people rather than stating a clear direction for what is ‘to be’. Hope is a big part of my every day as that is what drives me: I hope, and believe, things in my organization can and will be better tomorrow than they are today. I understand about the people aspect as the purpose of the vision is to help others see what the leader sees. Very good point that was not clear to be before.
Oh my how much you would get out of watching Bob Chapman. Defining Moments video. Free one hour and 9 minutes and then share with the folks here the ah-ah moments that filled your mind and heart.
Isn’t that really what it is all about Alfie?
Just do and think if it was a good idea after
Hope you do, Ron you will never be the same.
I think it’s also important to have as broad and widely informed view of things as possible before you set your vision. One question I always try to answer for myself is “what if we’re the bad guys”? There’s a rather long back story to when, why and how I started doing that and how it keeps me guided but here are a couple of practical examples on how it can be used before getting carried away with a great and hopeful vision and avoiding unwanted, undeserved and unintended consequences.
As a manager, am I really cutting costs and reducing staff as a good guy trying to make my business unit stronger, more reliable and more resilient, or as a bad guy trying to prop up the bottom line to ensure the best possible bonus payment for me?
As a company leader, am I advocating a move into an emerging market as a good guy trying to support development, create jobs and really help the country and people prosper, or as a bad guy trying to take advantage of low labor costs and higher profit margins that will earn me an even better bonus?
Asking questions like that really helps me focus on the people, all the people involved, and helps me ensure my vision is similarly focused and doesn’t become a vision about the project, program, property or profit!
I think that focus on people is often one of the easiest areas in business to neglect and honestly, the most challenging to define. What exactly does it look like to “focus on people”? We’re talking about development, people development, which honestly can be messy, long, time-consuming, and without immediate kick-back. The other P’s, projects, properties, programs, and profits have more potential to deliver immediate feedback. I struggle with how as an employee, and not as a company leader, to create a culture of “focusing on people” without sacrificing the other P’s, how leadership development looks in a non-profit setting, and how “focus on people”, developing leaders, can be a value our company embodies from the top-down rather than something that gets overlooked by the tyranny of the urgent.
Your list highlights two areas of needed growth. First, for me – #6 – communicate, communicate, communicate, involve, involve, involve. Second, for my team – #7 – you never wash a car that you rent…my team needs to own the car! Thanks for the post!
Sharing your vision with your team is very important. My challenge is helping my team comprehend the vision & making decisions that help direct us on that path!
Leaders build the team and protect it from wolves who snack on it to further the wolf’s personal career.
Excellent points and love the really concise differences that vision results in. And yes, inspiring visions are always about the world outside your organization and yourself. As often happens, our thinking is very much aligned; I hope we get to meet some day.
They aren’t quite always about people; some great visions are focused on the environment, wildlife and animal welfare, since the “others” don’t have to be human. The planet and its flora and fauna don’t exist solely to benefit humans.
Perhaps great vision is about how people can protect the environment, for example. ???
Dan, the great vision statements I see never deal with the How! What’s wrong with just having a vision of a healthy planet with great biodiversity and sustainable ecosystems? Many organizations and individuals could then choose roles for how to achieve that, but those roles wouldn’t be reflected in the vision statement itself.
Great discussion! I would only like to add that the People aspect has to deal with a ‘call to action’. Isn’t that the purpose of the vision and why it is about people? Vision is something people can unite around and strive collectively to achieve, right? That is the angle for it being ‘about people’, atleast to me. If the vision is with regards to the environment or non-humans, it is still a rallying cry for people to take action.
Great post – spot on with the comment about having buy-in – not just understanding.
Well some things are explained better than others. Also, some things make sense and some don’t.
Lucky for me being such a simple fella some folks have simplified stuff for me.
Number one, IF Doctor King was speaking Truth and it is about People where is the DETAILED REVIEW, The Informed Opinion if you will, of People Centric Leadership here?
Anyone listening to Dr King, is it REALLY about the people or not?
Quote truths but do not investigate and share what you found? What is that all about? Not trying to be a pain, just asking.
Now here is a Leadership question? When a fella asks a question that might make one feel a little cramped in the shorts what does a Leader do?
Answer thoughtfully after pondering the question or stick their head in the sand while muttering, “just who does he/she think he/she is to ask ME a question like that”?
Which sounds like Leadership to ya’ll?
My V words…..Vendible…..means CAPABLE of being sold! That means one has an OPEN MIND!!!! Good stuff that open mind, Who Disagrees? Anyone, Anyone, Bueller?
You Vendible? Ok watch Bob Chapmans Defining Moments video and share with the folks whatcha feel bout dat!
If you won’t, you are not vendible. Nothing wrong with that, just see it clearly when you choose.
That brings me to my other V word……………Vendiation…………means offering for sale!
The stuff I share, my opinion based on my experience, not uninformed opinions based out of thin air.
I offer a sale, OFFER, you decide to take it completely up to you. Shows if you are Vendible to my Vendiation.
If not, cool as all get out. Seriously, I have no attachment to what you decide floats your boat. Only freely sharing what floats mine.
Now another thing, HONESTY. I am honest, maybe to some of you to a fault, right? Question is what does reading Dan’s cool stuff do if I see stuff I think is backwards and I do not share that? Does that further any discussion? Or do I trip over myself saying how great stuff is when I really am not sure that is how I really see it? Do I not share honestly cause I do not want to hurt Dan’s feelings?
For me I just share it as I sees it. Think Honesty is the way to go for me. Not doing that just to be disagreeable, just honest.
Having said that, # 2 says Focused on their Best People. They focus on the unique strengths of every employee. WOW!!!!
So which is it? The leader focuses on their best or every employee? Which is it?
Am I really the only person who sees this?
My idea is focus on everyone and the folks who have the hottest burning desire will thrive more than the ones who are lukewarm. Up to THEM what they want to do.
Even better still focus on the one RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME! THAT IS THE BEST PERSON RIGHT THERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kinda like God does not help those who help themselves, He/She helps those who ASK!
Turn around Kiss myself!!!!!!!
So if Dr King spoke the Truth I hope we hear about People Centric Leadership that produces 72% teammate satisfaction and less of the “other” stuff that results in 70% of employees leaving work feeling no one cares about them.
So you Vendable to my Vendiation?
Shifterp back to NOW!
Lol so what is the thumbs down for this time?
Don’t like honesty, authenticity, reviewing information and sharing an informed decision, calling a spade a spade? That is what I shared summed up in a nutshell!
Come on now thumbs downer share the cause if your angst!!!
It is just so odd everything about People Centric Leadership is talked around except calling it by name and studying the company in America practicing it with miraculous results!
That is OUTSTANDING, ain’t it?
Enjoyed this, but I have a rub! Companies are organisms that fit in an industrial context and so their vision tends to fit into that context and may contain goals like being profitable. My personal vision may be people centered but when I enter the company I am buying into its priorities and vision (unless there is a legal or ethical barrier, that calls. For me to rxot.)
rxot is exit in fat-finger language! Sorry
I love how you mention that vision answers the question about making the world better. I think that at its core, every vision should be the answer to a question. Everyone has questions, and perhaps they will follow someone who can answer their biggest questions.
The first paragraph says it all. Creating a human-centric vision as a way to move an organization forward is the only way to truly be successful in every sense of the word. Great post Dan!
Your articles are so inspirational! I am using all your knowledge with the nonprofit, Break the Grey, where I am the DIrector of Operations, as well as with my own nonprofit, Living Waters Inc. Thank you for all you share!
Vision=Hope! This is what we need more of. I am thankful for our entire team of leaders from the futuristic and ideation people to the activators. Would love to read the book!!
Love the point that vision centers on people. We can envision huge buildings and great programs, but what are they without people? Empty eyesores!
When I was 19, I was hired to cast vision for a drug rehabilitation program. 19?! Exactly. Sometimes, your vision needs the refreshing point of view brought by someone who has that indomitable optimism and unrelenting hope that comes with youth.
The quality “accepting of change” is interesting in light of Rogers’ diffusion of innovation theory. Are leaders inherently innovators and early adopters? Could a leader ever be a laggard? (I suppose if someone is in leadership and is a laggard, they may be more of a manager.)
Regardless of personal style when it comes to change, as leaders we must help all of our employees negotiate change, which makes this quality an essential one.
I think essential qualities of leaders who inspire hope are action, behavior and concern. Leaders influence people through their action and achievement. They believe in doing what they believe is right. They do not believe in expecting others praise or rewards. Secondly, their behavior is different from mass. They portray great humbleness through their behavior. They become even more humble after success. And that makes them leaders. There are people who show off after getting success, but leaders become more humble. But the most important quality that makes leaders effective is their concern. Concern can be small or big. When concern is small, it may not invite much challenges and difficulties. But when concern is bigger, leaders face greater challenges and difficulties. There are moments when they are challenged and people question them. But they do not surrender. They know that to achieve extraordinary vision, one has to have extraordinary determination.
One important quality of effective leader is that they love pain. They know that pain the integral part of struggle. Those who pursue small dream, invite less pain. Leaders embrace pain. And I believe the compelling vision is nothing but keeping believe alive even in odd situation. When everyone has lost the hope, it is the leader who restore the hope by torching the path. They love to walk on path less traveled.
Thanks Ajay. It’s always refreshing to see humility linked with leadership. Humility is an elusive quality every leader should aspire to, “but few ever attain”.
Thanks for sharing this Dan.
The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. It shouldn’t only be people-based but value-based.
This is one f those principles we stress at the Studership 2.0 Leadership Programme for young leaders.
Compelling vision is critical.
Aanu Damola Morenikeji
I’m looking forward to reading The Catalyst Leader
Most leaders come clear headed, but later they are carried away by the status of the office they bare besides Power corruption and greed! He had a human dream, but as we all know leaders twist laws, rules and knowledge to suit their out selfish interests!!
For a vision to be compelling I must know clearly what role I play in making it happen.
Important focus today- leaders without vision do not lead an organization to realizing full potential.
I agree totally with the analysis. The “Vision” of this column is Leadership. And that is a theme repeated over and over. Visions need repetition and they need to be explained in different modalities because each of us grasp concepts in different ways. And the best way to promote “Vision” is through the power of story.
From my point of view “people” are the real asset every leader can rely on and they are the core for any success project. That’s why investing in people is a short term return but stay long.
Wow, incredible article! one thing that really sticks out to me is that leaders have vision within them. If a leader doesn’t have a strong personal conviction for the vision that God has given him, then he won’t be able to fully inspire hope in others!
A compelling vision should stir people within their very core, and call them to action. It should motivate people to rise up to the challenge with boldness!
I’m off today Dan with a thousand things to do. Glad I took a moment tho to read todays blog. John D. Rockefeller said, ” the ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar or coffee. And I will pay more for that ability than any other under the sun”. Irregardless of what buisnes\profession you are in it is people that determine sucsess. Not rules and regulations or a witty vission statement, people. It is said that about 15% of ones financial sucsess is due to ones technical knowledge and that 85% is due to ones skill in ‘Human Engineering’, (The ability to Lead People). I am baffled and disappointed that every college in the nation does not offer courses to develope the highest-priced ability under the sun. Ones popularity, happiness, sucsess, and sence of self worth depend to no small extent upon the skill in dealing with people. I realized these truthes at a very early age from wise parents as well as sucsessful buisiness leaders I was fortunate enough to learn from. It is due to these experiences I have a deep desire to learn, a vigorous determination to increase my ability to deal with people. Should you ever concider changing the title of your blog may I suggest , ( Leadership 101 by Professor Dan Rockwell) !!!!! “Besides, I could use the credits”! LOL. God Bless
Steve, what about the company that does?
Google Barry Wehmiller university and your eyes will FEAST!
Or don’t that is always an option too!!
Take care, hope you google and feast.
Often we get so involved in producing the product or service, we lose site that our real goal is to satisfy customer needs. When we focus on customer needs, we adapt as the customer’s needs change. Otherwise, we focus on our products and programs, trying to change the customer to meet our needs. Likewise, the employer-employee relationship is customer oriented. As the employer’s needs change, caused by customer changes, the employee must adapt, too. When the change is subtle, we may not notice the shift. When overt, it may require a whole new skill set. Thus our vision must be on customers and employees, not the product, service or program used to meet their needs.
Good article, Dan. Without vision, people cast off restraint and find themselves following every whim and fancy – with nothing to show for it. We were created to create: starting with a vision within, then working out that vision into the tangible realm.
Love this article! If you don’t believe in the people and invest in them, your projects and goals will be hard to reach.
Would like to read this book. Sounds excellent!
Excellent post, Dan. I appreciated your “Clarification” at the bottom because when I read your first two sentences, my initial reaction was to push back and say, “Really?!” But I understand where you are going with that.
Vision is so vital. As a pastor in a local church, we are continually striving to point our people toward a “preferred future,” which has ramifications for both their own lives and our broader community/world. We are to be “hope dispensers,” dripping it into people’s lives on a continual basis. As leaders, we need to model the vision to which we are calling people, and be filled with the hope that we are attempting to share.
Investing in others is a long-term investment. Investing in programs is short-term.
Great article! I loved the quote “Vision always centers on people never projects, programs, properties, or profits.” All too often we forget the people principle. One question – you stated that “The Catalyst Leader” is the first Christian leadership book you’ve recommended. Is that because others fall short or is there another reason?
Great discussion on vision – that it is not only inside a great leader, but expressed in a call to action, as previously mentioned. I am continually struck by how many characteristics are shared by great leadership values and the Christian faith. I will be reading Brad Lomenick’s book for sure!
Visionary leaders enjoy, listen to, employ and respect other team members visions as well as their own.
Great advice. I’ve been trying to be more “visionary” but I’ve been doing what I guess most people do at first and focusing on facts, figures and the end results instead of “people”. Loved the 7 Qualities of Visionary Leaders, definitely qualities to pursue!
Reblogged this on IAm Synt.
I particularly like the link between Optimism & being a Visionary Leader. It’s tough to be Visionary without being optimistic about achieving the future state.
Great blog Dan! I really like this quote,”Vision feels like hope.
Hope creates and energizes vision. Separated from hope, vision is futility. Leaders without hope are lost, along with everyone who follows them.”
I alway enjoy your posts, keep it up!
Vision feels like hope when/if … it causes people to see
themselves in a better light, improved situation, or where
previous barriers have been removed.
Vision is priceless, as in it cost nothing to create and
put’s nothing at risk, rather everything can now be
evaluated by asking, “Does THIS support our vision?”
An individual, group, or organization with no vision
costs them everything, because now everything may
seem to be equally important.
And then the people perish …
Thanks for the reminder to always stay hopeful.
Timely post Dan! Sat with my new ministry team today for our 2nd meeting, after casting my vision 2 weeks ago! Love the words “vision points!” Together we will see this vision impact people and our own lives.
Truly, without vision people perish! Thankful for the vision and for my new teammates.
(PS Love listening to Brad on the Catalyst podcast and would love his book, I’m sure! Smile.)
I read this blog daily and this is one of the best ever for me personally. It’s given a new perspective on vision. Looking forward to reading, “The Catalyst Leader”. Thanks again Dan. Good Stuff!
Just on time! I’m right in the process to define our vision with my team of volunteers so this post is a great help in this. The book would be too… 🙂
Thanks for another inspiring post, Dan.
The Catalyst Leader is an intriguing title for a book, not surprisingly one grounded in religious principles- the term sounds like an evolution of Servant leadership.
The idea that human beings are created in the image of God, provides a perspective on humanity… on each and every human being, as being infinitely unique, infinitely creative and infinitely valuable.
That’s a lot of human potential in any group or team, which can be inspired and ignited, or neglected, squandered or even thwarted.
( Not to suggest that everyone is good at all things, clearly not- it is an important leadership responsibility to get the right people on the bus, who’s unique skills and passions are aligned with the organizational vision, mission and goals, as Jim Collins suggests in Good to Great- )
I love the idea of leader as a catalyst to unleashing ( the infinitely valuable, infinitely creative and infinitely unique) individual, collaborative and collective potential for good- toward an inspiring vision that is focused in some way, on making the world a better place-
Thanks for another inspiring post, Dan!
Incredible article! Really changed my thoughts on vision. I can’t wait to share this with my team.
This would be an awesome prize to win!! Excellent post
Love your post Lori! And of course yours too Dan 😉 Couldn’t agree more with both of you.
Regardless of whether it is Christian Leadership or any other religious leadership, no one is truly a believer unless they want for others what they want for others.
Furthermore, any leadership that does not take into account the Human Rights of all those working within their organisation, removes an element of hope from their team members.
Great thoughts on vision. As an educational leader starting out I’m really doing some thinking about what our school vision can be, and the best way to get there as a school team. This post is very timely for me as I embark on the vision setting path.
Thanks for the nod, Dan. I always appreciate your thought-provoking views. It’s amazing to me how many company visions don’t include the people in the organization. I always wonder who they think is going to implement the vision.
“Never satisfied but always content” – what a powerful statement & a great balancing act. It seems that with the competitive nature of business these days people are so focused on “bigger, better, faster” that we forget how important & good for the soul it is to be content right where we are…even if just for a while!
Very insightful — thank you again for the wisdom. My comment:
Visionaries are intent on making the world a better place while they are in it — they see the world as a better place. Leaders point the way and are looking to take others with them.
Didn’t read the other comments, as I wanted to get this out asap:
You cannot force your vision on others. Thus a visionary leader, leading with his vision, has to bring his/her vision alive through a genuine connection with his/her people.
Leading with strong vision is more guiding others towards the goal than trying to force it on them only ‘because it’s the right thing to do’. And that seems to be the main pitfall for ‘leaders’ who think vision and mission are just pretty words and ideals to hang on the wall and forget…
I love the statement “never satisfied, always content.” Too often, we see a lack of satisfaction as a direct path to discontent. I think it’s possible to approach a less than ideal or incomplete scenario with positivity, and try to do so each day. Here’s hoping more learn how to do this!
I agree and wholeheartedly endorse the idea that Vision must center on people not profits. I feel that we are here to make the world a better place. Personally, making a positive difference in the lives of others is my mission.
I enjoyed the post.
I have always believed that having a vision is one of the things that drives a person to succeed. Having vision also allows you to be foresighted. Hope is a vital ingredient that drives vision, and it is one of the antidote for despair. I read it somewhere that dreams have to die first before a person totally gives in, I will revise that by saying that the vision has to die first because it is a tangible light you can feel and can be ignited always.
Vision drives you to do something, it forces you to put aside all excuses sometimes and it imbues you with fire to achieve.
I believe a strong vision is needed to have success, without it you will surely fail. It’s a point we can all rally around at a company that drives the shared focus on the end result.
As a Safety Leadership expert in Ireland I influence business leaders to value their people with the belief that if you cannot manage the safety, heath and welfare of your people then you cannot really manage anything. I try to get them to engage in behaviours that make safety personal for them and that they engage with their people with passion.
Vision is critical to moving forward. It’s all about growing the people on your team and showing them today is good but here’s tomorrow and that’s going to be even better. Too many times it’s all about clinging to what we have from yesterday.
This is encouraging to me. I seem to have more optimism about the future and more concerns about the individuals on my team than the majority of people I work with have for their teams. It’s more about people than tasks. I’m glad to be weird in this respect.
I have been in the U.S. Army for almost 15 years and I have worked with many different leaders during this time. I have been a leader in the local Church as well as in the Army and I can honestly agree that the post today is so true. People are paramount in any organization, and no matter what outcome a leader expects or mission that has to be accomplished people must come first. The leaders that have excelled and been successful are always about the people that support their vision and have a way to distribute ownership to the team that they work with. With no vision people perish, and with no people many visions never come to fruition.
Visionary leaders are always focused in achieving their goals and enable their team in focusing on the larger picture and complete the assignments to the fullest satisfaction. Visionary leaders are very much required for the all round development of an organisation.
In these ever changing times, i believe that the vision must evolve to keep up with your context. It shouldn’t change, but evolve so people can keep track and thus have a better understanding of your organisation’s context.
I think that a better understanding of your context allows for a vision to be effectively shared.
Thank you so much for the reminder that Vision is always about people and not products. This was on point and an ongoing reminder to me. Thank you.
Leadership is about influencing other people to do what you want them to do because they want to.
Vision assists with building engagement and voluntary effort for the greater cause.
Vision will always seek to describe something people aspire to. Projects, process, software, profits are simply by products or steps along the way.
It is very discouraging to staff for top management to present their vision and strategy and they never mention it again the entire year or they abandon it because of opposition, Vision keeps you focused. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the best at keeping his vision before the people.
Several years ago my agency got a new leader. One of my early exhortations was that we needed a vision statement. He agreed. He agreed every time I brought it up. Five years later when I left I reckon he still agreed. I guess he was waiting for the vision to come to him.
Vision is working with young leaders to make the world better. We hope for a better world with better leaders.
Great post. With regard to the 7 qualities of a visionary leader list, my biggest hurdle is #7. I am generally skeptical about almost everything. I have to do some serious investigating before I am “bought in” on much of anything and as a result “sold out” very few things.
Sadly, the person in the leadership chair at my company honestly believes that he is good on all 7 qualities, but in reality he is far from it. How do the real leaders of companies (the one’s actually leading) create and maintain vision? The people are confused between the owner and the vision that they believe in that came from someone other than him.
Thanks, once again for concise, critical info. I am re-posting your blog on LinkedIn and twitter daily. Thanks for your contributions to this important topic of leadership development.
Dual vision…know I have mentioned it before, certainly fits here…
For a very good organization/culture to be great, the leadership (not one person) needs to have at least dual vision—
1) Certainly looking for the next event horizon and beyond,
2) while still scanning the current landscape for challenges and bumps in the road
3)and maybe even glancing back for those objects in mirror that are closer than they appear. (With those, it is to ensure that we don’t Santayana ourselves.)
So maybe it is triple vision! 😉
You make important distinctions here. There’s a place for management and a place for vision. The key is to remember which role you are playing and make sure you don’t neglect the visionary part.
Spending time with people in their world – making that face-to-face connection is vital for leaders. Being available in person – there is no substitute for enabling shared vision and clarity and solidifying relationships – whether you are at work or home.
The most impactful point in this article is: “Leaders without hope are lost, along with everyone who follows them.” I am currently in a situation where my “leader” is without hope. He doesn’t think that his situation is or his team is going to get better. As a result the morale of his team is low, people are leaving the organization (including me) and the team is not producing. Hope directly impacts the way people operate on a daily basis. Without hope we are just treading water and waiting for things to happen. Hope drives people to do better in all aspects of life. Thank you for this post!
Amazing post! People are the key to any/all organizations and programs, with them there can never be an organization. Also, the ability to connect and persuade are also key/ why people are so important!
Good leaders are resonant leaders. They make their team members feel valued. They inspire through hope and vision; by creating and maintaining resonance. They use their skills to spread enthusiasm and solve problems with humour and empathy. They are in sync with those around them and engage & empower their team members. They are emotionally intelligent, optimistic and authentic. They remain open and build relationships.
A compelling vision must be SMART. it should have specific content, appropriate context, an achievable time frame, flexibility to withstand tweaking when needed, credibility that inspires, and envisioning that happens through collaboration and engagement.
Great blog, Dan. Good leaders are people oriented, providing vision , making the world a better place where they interact and touch people’s lives. Like the Lord Jesus.
I love the point about never being satisfied (but always content). The language I’ve been using lately (which comes from Jon Gordon) is to stay “humble and hungry.”
Simply put, leaders are learners!
The part about being optimistic can not be said enough. This affects the attitude of the team and as we no attitude can make or break the success of a company.
leaders know honor courage and commitment, even when no one us looking
navy Chief 🙂
I really appreciate your blog and I’d love to win this contest and get my hands on that book!
I was just speaking to my employees about motivation. We determine that vision is the best way to get people to work for you.
Problem is that vision and purpose seem to be too easy to forget about. If you are not constantly casting your vision to your employees, it becomes a lost concept and people forget what they are working for.
I try to constantly remind them what we are striving to achieve. That way even if I’m not there, they have some to motivate them.
Thanks for the post. Very insightful.
Leaders who inspire hope see the possibilities, talk about the possibilities, and then take the lead action towards those possibilities as they invite and encourage others to come.
A compelling vision must engage members of the team and tell a story about the possibilities.
Very Rich and genuine article that’s needs to be read by all.
Great article and believe the vision piece is vital! It’s one thing to develop it but entirely different to communicate it to everyone. Communication is key!
Always important to remember that all our efforts must focus on people and not assets. Not easy this days to find leaders that keep it in mind.
Leaders with a vision are very confident, optimistic and courageous. They inspire others by frequent interactions and compel them to be crazy for the rosy bright future. They invest heavily in the newer areas and bank upon the select right good people within the team to make the dreams realize with adequate planning and execution. They even are best in hiring the best new recruits and create the task force teams to accomplish the projects leading to the final goal.
One good quality I always admire in Visionary Leaders in their own conviction and the belief of working on newer things much ahead of time. They are very proactive and are up-to-date on the current knowledge with an eye on futuristic developmental trend.
They are strongly determined and have the tremendous energy to push others to move along with them in fulfilling the dreams. I have a great admiration for a successful CMD of an Indian pharma firm where I was employed for turning the small local organization into a big Indian multinational organization in a span of 20 years. He seemed a crazy guy with high level of boring talks initially but gradually the whole organization saw the miraculous growth through a planned success.
Investing in potential senior management staff coupled with a calculated risk in investing heavily in R & D area brought the company into the top league with an international reputation that many others have envied. The shareholders, many of them from doctors’ fraternity, have benefited well by putting a blind faith (although force upon with guaranteed returns at the time of IPO). in the leader who had a good image of being trustworthy.
A clear vision is great but it needs to be steered towards with strong values. Remember Hitler had a vision.
I agree it is all about people. It is about seeing their strength and encouraging the exercise of their strength for those who wants to. However, in a large group or team with multiple talents and simple focus, inevitably some are stronger than others on the same skill set. This is when leader has to make decisions and weigh other things beyond just the skill of individual but how the team work together. Sometimes the best individual performer Or talent can damage or hinder the collective result of a team. Leader needs to see that and make adjustments.
When I got into my new career, it is very people focused. Each individual seemed to have to contribute to my success. I had no idea I would become the leader people needed in their lives. When I connected my willingness to learn and grow as a leader and my passion for helping with a bigger vision, I began to see how I could turn this one person business into a very powerful thing.
I still work on communication and work very hard on instilling optimism in people so they can learn and grow to be leaders in their own lives.
I’m going to drop my business card in your bowl as well… 🙂 Rick Page wrote a book on strategic selling and called it, “Hope is not a Strategy.” Great title. But seriously, what is Hope? Hope, like the wheelbarrow being pushed on a tightrope over Niagra Falls. It is only a channel, a carrier. Similar to Faith, Hope is only as good as the OBJECT of that which you are hoping in. Your hope had better have someone good behind it – or else it is in vain.
1 Pet. 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…
Clarification piece is excellent. Sometimes easy to get caught up in everyday and confuse vision with the activities.
Wow! Thanks you!
I like #2 of your list, focusing on the unique strengths of every employee. Each of us bring different qualities and perspective to the table. Recognizing and then utilizing those strengths to move toward the vision is so important. Great post and comments…reading it has been energizing!
Vision inspires, motivates and suggests a preferred future or it can be vain, colored by strong selfish passions and un restrained personal bents. I am careful with having Vision and try to measure it by a Standard. For me that’s the Bible. When I read your posts and comments I take all the great insights and begin measuring… “Where there is no prophetic vision the people are un restrained” Proverbs 29:18 Much respect and growing love for your work Dan!
“Vision feels like hope.” Excellent. Paradigm shift!
Vision is about future.
But future starts to be created in the past.
It’s our work in the past, the relations created, the values transmitted, the mentoring done and received, what open new paths in our future, new possibilities and give us new chances. In such way the vision has more options and open our mind to new futures.
Leaders must inspire others in the way to the vision, in their own way of doing. Honesty, hard work and very good communication skills are essential in this inspiring time.
Thanks so much, I would love to have a copy of The Catalyst!
I will be running a leadership learning group this year. This post is yet another example of why the group members will be encouraged to sign up for your posts.
There are no projects without people. Your post clarifies the priorities of the vision process. Thank you!
A needy fact for this generation leaders. I personally gain a lot from this piece of advice: my vision is my people.
Liked the post. I am adding my comments based on my professional experience and observation at one of my earlier companies worked. The local pharma company worth $ 20 mill. turning into $ 1 billion company with Indian MNC Tag in a span of 30 years.
Visionary leaders share their dreams and find occasions to address the fellow colleagues/employees to charge them with enthusiasm and optimism for future. They also take care in selecting the right Task Force Teams to accomplish the progressive targets/goals and work on proactive basis.
They have a burning desire to achieve their dreams ad possess strong determination to succeed irrespective of the hurdles that may come in the journey to success.
They are never satisfied with their achievements. They raise their success bar every time and make the people crazy. The fruits of success of course is shared among all and that is the biggest self-motivation with a sense of pride.
Systems are necessary and you do need a vision for them. I am learning that the most important system is the one that develops people. Good post
This article helps me set my own goals as a new administrator. The reminder of people, not programs is who I want to be about. Thanks for a great read. I loved the yielding blog today. You are fabulous!
This is such an excellent post. I so agree that vision casting is always about people and I love the practical outworking of vision for people. This statement struck me.
“The chapter on vision in Brad Lomenick’s new book, “The Catalyst Leader,” is titled, “Hopeful.” He explains what vision feels like and does rather than offering safe definitions.”
Lomenick “explains” what vision “feels” like and “does” Wow! I love that and so resonate with sharing with people the “what”, rather than so formula of “how to”, which is often leads to some doing that does not relate to the people.
I’ve read so many “Christian” books on leadership. This sounds like a fresh wind blowing in the midst of many meanderings out there on leadership. Thanks for sharing this and hope I get a copy of this book.
What I look for in a leader to inspire hope, is the quality of being Steady and Composed.
Absolutely love this! Thank you for posting! I am always really happy to read more on leadership and I will definitely be reading your page more as I try to create a leadership program for my school this upcoming semester
Some of the good qualities of essential leaders who inspire hop are as follows: they are subservient in nature, realist, knowledgeable about their struggles or predicament, approachable, pragmatic, visionary, trustworthy, and a fighter for his or her cause.
Essential qualities of leaders:
Courage to only do right
Create leaders/ Influence others to lead
– help others reach their potential
Qualities of Compelling vision:
Let’s split this into two levels:
Attributes/skillset required to create vision:
Keen understanding of Business(for some, atleast within their scope of the role). One needs to be an architect of their role.
Mastery on the knowledge of market landscape and changing conditions.
Deep insight into customer needs and concerns, with an ability to connect and correlate dots between product growth and resolution of consumer needs/market.
Qualities of compelling vision:
– Gives pride in being associated with
– A grand idea that helps to reach a better state, worth to strive for
– most importantly and impactful: if it can connect to betterment of humanity, helping people
Leaders who inspire hope:
– Extend Trust
– Demonstrate Character and Competency.
– Unleash Talent
– Clarify Purpose
– Clear the Path
– Inspire a Shared Vision for the Future.
Essential Qualities of a Compelling Vision:
– Developed Collaboratively
the fact this is the first christian leadership book recommended by the site is of interest to me. many christian leadership principles have been simply re-shaped my secular authors. closer inspection will reveal a ‘mine’ of exemplory leadership insight by many christian leaders. Worth a closer look perhaps for future reference
Great insight! Without a proper view of and practice in connecting people with vision, leadership leads to nothing. Thank you!!
Interesting to see this information