In these Instagram days, we love one-liners about important topics.
But even more, we like cool pictures tagged #goals or #vision or #leadership.
“Vision is about a shared energy, a sense of awe, a sense of possibility.”
That sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?
And the quote comes from the conductor of a symphony, so it’s a little artsy, too. Even better.
Maybe a picture of a #sunset would make it more powerful?
The real power of a vision comes when it is used, put into practice in specific ways in a particular organization by a certain group of people.
Lofty visions and limited scope actually go hand in hand.
Listen to entrepreneurs number 4 and 3 in this short video from GoToMeeting.
Be precise … concentrate on your goals, what you want to achieve, and only on them.
Prioritize your manpower appropriately. Don’t chase every single possible thing for your startup to do.
Visions take form when we apply limits in order to clarify our focus, when we make choices about staffing and budgeting based on that vision, when we test and measure our success by the standard that our vision sets.
Visionary leaders are standard-bearers, constantly reminding their people not only of the lofty purpose but also of the limited scope and choices that entails.
I think of Gary Mecklenburg, who began every speech (internal or external) by saying, “I am CEO of Northwestern Memorial Hospital, an academic medical center where the patient comes first.”
He might go on to add that we focused on Best Patient Care and Best People.
Two sentences, two key concepts. Repeated every single time he spoke to anyone.
It got so we could all repeat it, even if we had forgotten to wear our “Patients First” lapel pin to work that day.
Visionary leaders are not only shaped by their learning (much of it coming from unglamorous, repetitious work) but are also creative in their practice.
The creative fruit of leadership grows from seeds planted and watered, branches pruned and shaped steadily over time.
So let the one-liners and the cool pictures lead you to wonder how you might put a lofty vision into practice.
But learn from other visionary leaders about the concentration, discipline, and repetition that eventually bears fruit.