Here are three signs of a powerful vision. I’ve written before on The Purpose of Vision, and it’s become one of the most popular posts on this blog. So this is a follow up of sorts.
A powerful vision statement provides purpose and direction, as I wrote about earlier. But a powerful vision also has the following three characteristics:
It’s Clear: Too many visions are fuzzy, generalised and unclear. A powerful vision is very clear, and very obvious as to whether it’s been achieved, or how close you are to achieving it. Think “We will send a man to the moon and back.” Fuzzy and unclear vision is one of the biggest killers of momentum. That’s why leaders must tirelessly work at clarifying and simplifying the vision, and communicating it in a way that everyone can quickly grasp.
It’s Compelling: A powerful vision is exciting, and grabs people as a worthwhile cause to commit to. Think “I have a dream that one day my children will be judged not on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character.” If it’s not a compelling vision then why would you waste time working on it? And why would you expect others to do so?
It’s Realistic: You ideally want vision to be difficult and stretching, since that draws out the commitment in all of us. But it also needs to be realistic. Even NASA only had a vision of going to the moon rather than to Mars, since back in the 1960s that would have been totally unrealistic (and perhaps still is). Without a realistic pathway to success people will become frustrated and demotivated.
Make sure that any vision you commit to working on is clear, compelling and realistic. And make sure when you share vision you do so in a way that gets these across. If you do so, you’ve won half the battle, and you’ve created a powerful vision that others will want to be part of.
Mark Williamson works as a director of One Rock. He’s an experienced leadership trainer, author of biographies on John Wesley and William Wilberforce, and is also passionate about praying for London. He enjoys good films, good food, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna. You can follow him on Twitter @markonerock.