A vision is, very simply, an idea of what we want to see in the world. It is something more expansive than just a goal. It is an image of what we think is missing from our current
reality and which we feel is important enough to dedicate time and energy to creating. Visions are most powerful when they are not just about things we want to see happen for our own benefit – but about things that will make things better for two, three or a whole group of people.
A successful vision is a powerful idea – and when someone has a do-able but inspirational vision and they commit to it then it can change the world – the motor car, the aeroplane, all the worlds revolutions, the NHS, antibiotics, the BBC – they were all somebody’s vision at one point. They started life as just ideas and images that had the power to attract people to them and then get those people to do things that made the vision happen. Therefore it is important when creating and realising a vision to be very careful with what the idea / image is. To really think through what we really want to happen based upon what we really feel our values and goals are – otherwise we may end up creating a life or a thing that we didn’t really want and which may have ‘negative’ impacts.
Unlike our true inspiration, visions can be big, ambitious goals. They can be huge dreams or long-forgotten intentions. The more they challenge us, the more we must lift our game and our spirits to make them happen. Examples using the creative leadership tools have been:
To create a better organisational future for us all to enjoy
To be courageous so that I can lead my team to unprecedented success
To create the next wave of innovation
To change the ethics of my business so that we can benefit the local community
It is important to remember that if we don’t manage to make a vision happen it does not make us any less amazing. It is not a failure (we don’t believe failure really exists – except perhaps to not take a risk in the first place). It is just that they didn’t happen. We always learn from everything that doesn’t work and these bits of learning help us the next time we create a vision and give it a go. As the founder of IKEA said, ‘Nobody has failed as much as me’. He is one of the richest people in the world – a self-made billionaire who many claim has made the world a more comfortable and more beautiful place. Yet his empire started with an idea, a vision of how things could be – and all the rest has been a lot of commitment, a lot of energy, a lot of courage and lots of learning from all the mistakes made along the way.
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