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The Importance Of Leadership And A Compelling Vision

Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises. Among his independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs.

Executive Contributor Wayne Elsey

One of the primary reasons teams fail and businesses fall apart is the need for a compelling vision. There's a lot of talk about the importance of leadership but less about the fact that vision and leadership are intertwined. Setting a vision for a team is like a road map that becomes a guiding light. When a vision is set, it illuminates the path forward in almost every decision a company and its teams make.

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Vision is essential to leadership because it provides a team with a unifying purpose, creating endless opportunities for working together. I've seen how it's galvanized our sneaker recycling team. In turn, it's motivated them to attract high-visibility partners such as the St. Jude Children's Hospital, the Austin Marathon, and the Marine Corps Marathon. So, let’s explore the importance of leadership and vision-setting.

The importance of leadership vision

Think of vision as the North Star. That star has guided countless explorers. In the old days, when sailors went around the world as they went beyond the idea that the world was flat, captains sought to inspire their crews with a great vision of destinations still unseen. What it did then, and what it does now in business, is to clear ambiguity with a purposeful goal. Further, setting a vision supports teams in creating a unified approach to their aims.

The best leaders can paint a vivid picture of a future that’s yet to happen. When leaders lack vision, they unwittingly create spaces for too much ambiguity, which leads to drift. In other words, when teams don't have a clear vision, they can easily lack purpose. What does it do? It hurts productivity and creates an environment where people aren't doing their best to achieve an inspired vision—together.

Leadership and vision are entirely intertwined. Moreover, vision serves as a catalyst for change within organizations. We know that change is now fast and exponential and part of the recipe for success. The companies that can adapt quickest get the spoils, and the ones that don't pivot quickly stand to lose. A concrete vision allows teams to innovate and strive to be the best in the marketplace. Moreover, it instills confidence and resilience.

How to craft an inspiring vision

If you accept that vision matters just as much as leadership, the next question is how to create a vision that sets the tone and map for a company's future.

Reflect on values and purposes

First and foremost, a vision requires introspection. Leaders should examine their companies' core values and let those lead the way. For instance, what principles are essential to the business? What's the brand's higher social purpose? Answering these questions helps set the vision.

Envision the future

For leaders to settle on a vision for the future, they must see it for themselves. By the way, a bold vision should scare you a bit and excite you simultaneously. When a leader embraces and 'sees' the vision for themselves, it's then that they can see success and then articulate it to the team with conviction.

Make it attainable—but ambitious

A vision should inspire and be ambitious. It should tap into a team's innate instincts to want to achieve. However, while it has to push a team, it must also be attainable. A vision that's so out of the bounds of reality creates cynicism and disillusion. Therefore, leaders have to balance achievement with achievability.

Communicate with passion and clarity

Once a vision is set, leaders must communicate it to their teams. But this goes beyond simply stating it. It means articulating the vision with conviction, passion, and clarity. When those elements exist, teams are inspired to act.

Lead by example

Finally, leaders should walk the walk. Actions speak much louder than words, and when leaders embody what they want to see with their teams, that helps inspire and guide people. Modeling the behaviors leaders wish to see also reinforces the vision and encourages people to align their actions.

The symbiotic relationship

Leadership and vision have an undeniable symbiotic relationship. Outstanding leadership is only possible with vision. Teams that have vision from their leaders will genuinely know where they're going or how they're going to get there. So, it's through visionary leadership that companies create the right environment to set the course within their companies to compete in a hyper-competitive marketplace. 


© 2024 Wayne Elsey. All Rights Reserved.


Wayne Elsey, Founder and CEO

Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises. Among his independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs. This social enterprise helps nonprofits, schools, churches, civic groups, individuals, and others raise funds while helping to support micro-enterprise (small business) opportunities in developing nations and the environment.



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