Creating and Nurturing Your Vision

Visualizing Success: Creating & Nurturing Your Vision

A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.
-Ralph Lauren

Creating and Nurturing Your Vision

All successful leaders have at least one thing in common – a strong vision that they truly believe in. An outstanding leader makes that vision come alive by motivating others to share in that vision while compelling them to act. In the next post of The Makings of a Great Leader series, we’ll talk about how to create and nurture your own vision.

Creating the Vision: Think First, Act Second

In a previous post, I discussed key differences between catabolic and anabolic leaders, explaining how an anabolic leader plans ahead, setting the tone for an energetic, balanced atmosphere. Plan ahead by creating a vision – think first, act second.

These tips will help you get started:

  • Be realistic. Realize that getting from where you are to where you want to go might not be possible instantly. This is why you need a road map to get you there!
  • Establish clarity. Have a lucid understanding of exactly what the goal is – what needs to be accomplished, and what steps will are involved.
  • Identify strengths and limitations. Knowing what your assets and restrictions are up front can help you prepare for the road ahead. Use this as an opportunity to turn perceived limitations into avenues for growth.

How to create your visionAligning With Your Vision

A vision is like any journey – you need to begin with the end in mind. When you’ve created your vision, imagine what it will feel like when you achieve it. What does that end result mean to you, to your team, and to your organization as a whole? Be descriptive and make that end result, that “next level”, as tangible as possible.

As your journey begins, make decisions that are in alignment with your vision. This may not always be easy – in fact, you may become abundantly aware of how things are in contrast to the vision you’ve created.

Don’t be discouraged, but use this awareness as a motivator as you continue to move forward. Act “as if” – feel the reality of your accomplished vision.

Communicating Your Vision

It isn’t enough to create a leadership vision – you must share it with others and participate in the team effort yourself. As you share your vision, persistence and inspiration are key.
This is also where practicing accountability becomes critical. Though leaders approach accountability in different ways, there are several important tips that can help you along the way:

  • Check in often and communicate with your team to make sure each member is taking action.
  • Give constructive feedback so that team members see accountability as a chance to grow.
  • If someone isn’t following through with their responsibilities, resist blaming. Instead, help identify obstacles and work with the person to overcome challenges.
  • Be consistent.

That last one cannot be overstated! If you’re not consistent, how can you expect anyone to take you seriously? Being consistent as you practice accountability helps you stay true to your vision while building an atmosphere of responsibility in your organization.

You can use accountability to involve team members so they see that they’re part of a bigger picture – and that their unique strengths, talents, and abilities are an important part of reaching that goal. Challenge your team to soar and grow!

Even though we often think of  the term “vision” from a corporate perspective, the tips above can be applied to any area of life. You can create a new vision for yourself, or use your skills as a leader to help others follow through with their own. And as you’re developing into a competent, enthusiastic leader, don’t forget to visualize yourself as such – and view any obstacles as opportunities for new growth!