Visionary leadership is crucial in today’s world. Every leader has a vision. Some visions are clear, others are fuzzy. Some are well-developed, others are sloppy. Some are compelling, others are forgettable.
How can a leader gauge the clarity and effectiveness of his or her vision?
The most obvious way is to measure the people who eventually get on board and follow, but this feedback comes too late.
In order to assess the clarity of the vision on the front end, a leader should evaluate how clearly his or her vision answers the following questions:
1. Where are we now? If a vision paints a picture of a preferred future, then it must begin by clearly defining reality now.
2. Why can’t we stay here? It’s not enough to assess where you are, you must also make the case for why staying here is not an option.
3. Where are we going? This is the picture of a preferred future. This is the there you’re trying to move people toward.
4. Why must we go there? A vision must demonstrate why there not just a good option, but a necessary one. This is similar to #2, but more positive.
5. How will we get there? Moving from here to there is scary and sounds painful, so a compelling vision not only shows the destination but the path to get there.
6. Why now? A compelling vision shows people why there is an urgency to this new direction.
Take a moment to consider your vision and run it through this grid. Where is it currently getting tripped up?