The word “vision” has many meanings. Here is how we define a well-crafted vision, whether the vision is about who you intend to be as a leader, what you envision for your team, your organization, your family, or even the legacy you intend to leave behind.
We believe an effective vision is:
Visual: It is something you can actually "see" or "envision." Sometimes it is a word picture, or an actual visual or graphic. At other times it is a metaphor, vision board, mind map sketch or similar. Often it is a statement that "paints the picture" of what the "ideal" will look like, feel like, and even taste like when we arrive. The more vivid you imagine it, the more "alive" it becomes for you and for your stakeholders.
Aspirational: It is focused on the “what it looks like” and “why it is meaningful," versus knowing the "how." If we already know how, we are likely not thinking big enough--yet.
Energizing: Thinking of it and/or "seeing it" fills you with positive energy and expectation.
Focusing: It becomes a natural “filter” for prioritizing your resources (energy, time, money, etc.).
Inspiring: When you can “see it” so clearly and with such positive anticipation, you more naturally describe it to your stakeholders with clarity and passion, too.
Aligning: When your stakeholders can “see it” they are in a much better position to align their strengths and resources to help you figure out "how" to get there.
Empowering: Envisioning what is possible and sharing it with key stakeholders also engages their individual and diverse strengths to help you discover resources and approaches you might never have thought of on your own. It also creates the opportunity for everyone to have a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose in the pursuit of your shared vision.
Engaging: It (at least temporarily) reduces the “tyranny of the how” while inviting more possibilities, resources, and opportunities to show up than we might ever have imagined possible.
Synergizing:This is our fancy word for the "synchronicity" that occurs when we engage all of the above in the pursuit of something that gives us a higher sense of shared meaning and purpose.
That is also why we love this quote... It has been attributed to both Wolfgang von Goethe and William Hutchison Murray:
"The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues forth from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no [one] could have dreamed would have come [their] way."