Thursday, April 28, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Vision

A vision is a future state of being.

Vision is about having a positive outlook on the future that is not predicated on the past or present. The vision needs to be a good metaphor - 'the guiding light,' so that people can see themselves and their work reflected in it. It is through identifying the "destination" for all, charting the route for all from their own respective positions toward the destination, and then guiding along the way when some for a time deviate or supporting the ones who are lagging behind. There is also a passionate connection to a vision. When a vision is realized, people live with change. Which questions should you ask to assess a person’s vision?

Is vision equal to a dream? A vision is larger and more realistic than a dream, it’s a responsibility. Vision is a foresight with a proactive understanding of cause and effect, not reactive 'seeing.' It is a clear choice among future scenarios that promotes certain behavior. Vision is something you see, others don't, and a visionary mind is able to and not afraid to leverage contrarian views to shape a holistic picture. A great vision is one which relates itself to a purpose greater than itself which contributes to the common good. Vision is not a dream. Vision is a motivation act one plans to see happen in the life, businesses and the society we live in. It often takes turns positively or negatively, but it has been and always will be the genesis of uncountable success stories we all know. The "aha" vision is an "entrepreneurial" attribute; the ability to envision a solution to a perceived or not-yet-perceived need. A visionary mind has the ability to think the past, perceive what is now and foresee the future. Maybe it is about shaping an idea that comes with a commitment to push it through via personal dynamics and guts, determination and single-mindedness. The vision if understood in this perspective becomes a reality achievable and a comprehensible dream beyond words.

Is vision a “must have,” or “nice to have” leadership quality? Leaders have to live and be the vision. The top leaders are visionary. If a vision exists only on paper, it is useless. It follows the wonderful quote, "We must be the change we wish to see in the world. A passionate connection to it doesn't mean you will always be excited about it, or "love" it. It means you will be willing to suffer for it as you realize you are responsible for the life-changing effects of its realization - the world is waiting for it. A clear vision is circular, not tunnel-like; multi-dimensional, not single lenses; colorful, not black and white; it should be vivid enough to tell the story and positive enough to overcome barriers; it touches the heart and mind to drive the actions. Digital leaders today need to have a clear vision to zoom into the future and broadened knowledge to zoom out the reality, in order to guide the business through uncharted water or blurring boundaries during the journey of the digital transformation.

What does a good vision statement include? A good vision statement either for personal development, business growth, or societal progress, should motivate us continually to "reach beyond our grasp," in pursuit of longer-term goals to be realized through achievement of nearer-term objectives, against which performance can be measured and reported to those who care to know. A vision is never "achieved" in the sense of being "completed" (with nothing more to be done) -- not in any number of years or even lifetimes. A vision statement describes a journey rather than a destination. The steps along the way are described in goal and objective statements made "real" in terms of measurable performance indicators.

Vision is an important trait of digital leadership. Vision inspires you to move forward; vision zooms into the future as if it were closer; and vision makes you feel passion about what is going to happen - the opportunities; vision is the great work through both mind and heart orchestration. Vision" and "innovation" are different but complementary skills. If vision is about the "end" status, then innovation is the means to the end. "Vision" is a destination and 'innovation' is the management process including the better process, tools, cultures, etc., to get you there. The “vision" thing has to go hand in hand with execution and value contribution.


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