The Power of Vision

The Power of Vision

Introspection is the search for resonance–to discover the dream that represents a state to which one aspires. One reaches within to find the vision for action. Enlightened Leadership starts with this step.

What is Vision?

Purposeful action starts with vision — a dream of a desired state of being, something different from what it is now. This can include a change in form, time, or place, or a combination of these. Vision is not a precise expression of the desired state, but it is concrete enoughh to drive the remaining elements of action, including goals, strategy and team-building. When the entire team shares a common vision, productivity and effectiveness peak.

Everyone dreams, and each individual has visions of how things might have been or might be in the future. Here we use vision to describe a dream of a desired state of being, something that is different from what it is now. This could include a change in form, time, place or a combination of these. Vision is not necessarily a precise form or expression of the desired state. Purposeful action starts with vision.

To help understand how vision relates to action, imagine an artist at work. For instance, imagine the work of Michelangelo. The famous sculptor saw, inside his mind, the completed image of David within the rough marble before he laid the first chisel stroke to create the masterpiece that draws millions of visitors to Florence centuries after the statue was completed. Michelangelo had a vision within himself that needed to be brought forth and brought to life. This vision came from inner reflection, or introspection, perhaps over a period of years.

Gandhi’s life provides another example of purposeful action driven by vision. Mohandas Gandhi formed his vision, to free India from the rule of the British, over many years while living in many different continents. Starting during his youth in British-occupied India and then as a barrister in England, followed by experiences as an activist in South Africa, he finally resolved to return to his homeland to undertake the fulfillment of his ultimate vision. During all the years preceding this decision, he reflected, meditated and prayed until his vision was formed and he made a commitment to lead a nation towards the realization of his dream of a free India.

Because of his conviction and total belief in his vision, which was not self-serving, but was aimed at serving the entire nation as well as humankind, Gandhi was able to inspire millions to follow his vision. This is how vision enables a Purposeful Leader, or a Servant Leader, to lead purposefully.