In the last post, I talked about what it means to have a vision and listed some examples of people in the world who have had great visions for change and then followed those dreams. But those dreams did not come to fruition overnight…they came about through a lot of hard work, both their own and of others. So, what is that one should do when a vision looms in their mind and they want to share it with the world? Here are some of the actions involved in sharing the vision.
To Tell or Not to Tell
Interestingly, when most of us get that vision, we want to rush out and tell someone. Unfortunately, if you share that dream, you may find yourself being called a dreamer, crazy or simply be greeted with blank stares. This is a problem with visionary thinking. So, when you get those visions consider carefully whom you share them with. Yes, sharing them is often needed, as it is part of the planning process, but keep this in mind, the bigger the vision, the less you can say about it, especially when the vision is in its conception stage.
Once your vision moves from the undeveloped picture stage (remember the Polaroid?) to seeing that picture come to life, people will begin to understand where you are headed. However, while the dream/vision is in its infancy, there are some key questions, you should ask before sharing your vision with someone else.
- What are the perspectives held by the people who will hear about my vision?
- What is it about the vision that will threaten their perspectives?
- What about the vision is sensational?
- What about it is wacky?
- What about the vision seems like an impossibility?
- When you have the answers to these questions, and perhaps others you may anticipate, you are then ready to bounce your idea off a trusted friend.
The Big Picture
Have you ever met someone who is always looking at the big picture? The big picture people are the ones who help move a vision into a reality. They will lead teams, help establish definitions of terms and disperse information. Or, succinctly put, they help with information, clarification and motivation.
It should be noted that a vision for your ministry or company, is not a sentence or two on the letterhead that can be recited by volunteers/employees when called upon. In fact, a brief vision statement is almost an oxymoron. Rather, it is more like a section of your newspaper. Despite what popular thought prevails, your vision “statement” should be lengthy, or it is not really a vision—it is just a goal. Not that goals are bad! Rather, goals are not typically as large or encompassing as a vision is.
In addition, you need to recognize that a vision may change with time and become less exciting, thus requiring renewal. But, this is common. The vision is the driving force with an organization. It gives a picture of what could be and what should be in the ministry/business’ future. It is up to you, as the leader, to keep things fresh. But, that is a topic for another time.
Until then, give some thought to your vision. What do you think your business will look like in 5 years? In 10 years? What about in 20 years? Now is the time to start planning that dream.