Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

Archive for the tag “Vision casting”

Vision Casting

Our vision tells us where we intend to go–where to aim–and helps us keep our focus. We see this future clearly now, but as we move forward it becomes more real—more clear.

Vision statements must be far enough into the future that there is time for change. They also must be “big” enough to allow for faith and the “touch of God.” If they are too far into the future or too big they tend to be thought of as dreams or wishful thinking instead of action-producing statements that move the passions of those touched by them.

After identifying our time horizon, we begin by describing what we see in the future of our work. It is as if we are taken into the future and are able to gather the entire work together in one location and take a picture of it. We then try to describe the picture that we see in words.

To describe this future picture, we begin by saying,, “By the year 20xx, we see…”  Vision casting is describing this picture so clearly that others can see it with you and also see their part in making this picture become a reality.

One last thought. As we begin another year have you asked and answered the question, “What are you asking God to do in your work this year?” Are you praying specifically? Are you asking in faith? Or is it just another year filled with much activity and people?

I hope that you are asking a BIG GOD for BIG THINGS! Remember, “You do not have, because you do not ask God” (James 4:2 b).

Casting Vision

Once our desired future state is clear, it is the leader’s job to communicate this vision so that others can ‘see’ it along with them.  Tom Clancy’s book, “Into the Storm: A Study in Command” (page 504) provides a great illustration of vision casting by a leader.  Gen. Freddie Franks was leading the VII Corps in Desert Storm and in the midst of the fog of war it became apparent that the final outcome was not clear.  Gen. Franks provides that needed clarity as described below.

“But I’ve been around tired troops, and these troops were tired…though clearly not down.  They were running on fumes now, but they wanted to finish it.  I could imagine what the troops who had fought all night felt like.

“As I looked at the map, a piece of blue representing the Persian Gulf was just visible at the far eastern map sheet.  It caught my attention.

“Attack east,” I told them.  “Go for the blue on the map.  That is what is bringing the ships to take us home when this is over.  Go for that.  Here!” I said, banging on the map.  Not too military, but I wanted them—as clearly tired as they were—to have something to seize on to propel them forward another twenty-four hours.  As Greg Fontenot was to tell me later, my remark “Go for the blue on the map” got all the way to the battalion commanders, and maybe further.”

How’s your vision?  Is it clear?  Can you communicate it clearly and simply to others?  Where is the “blue on your map?”  Go for the blue on the map!

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