TURNING VISION TO LEGACY
Then the LORD answered me and said, ‘Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets that the one who reads it may run. For the vision is yet for the appointed time; it hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; for it will certainly come, it will not delay – Habakkuk 2:2-3
What is Vision?
- Vision is a vivid imagination. The picture in your mind is the future you create. Imagination gives a picture of desire. Imagination fuels the picture in your mind.
- It is to conceive, create, perceive. To think it into being. The picture conceived by vision most often does not exist. Vision is the bridge between the present and the future.
- Vision means thinking outside the box and that is pitching one’s self against status quo. Vision battles stenotype. Vision sees solutions to problems and that solutions do not have to be gotten through the usually or normal route. it takes creativity to be visionary. Vision is an act of creative thinking to birth a solution.
- Vision gives pain a purpose. Those without vision spend their lives taking the path of least resistance as they try to avoid discomfort. The level of sacrifice that a vision requires will determine the size of people who follow.
- Vision is the product of effective thinking. It is mentioned in literature that great men think because they are great, and great men are great because they think. An aspect of thinking that differentiates great men and women from mediocre ones is the ability to handle a vision.
- A man of vision sees what God has for him before its fulfilment. Vision is no doubt one of the most powerful forces available to man on earth today. Vision gives meaning to life. It keeps us alive and conditions our lives.
Pro 29:18 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”
NOTE: “Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire”
A man with no vision is best described as a living corpse. He desires nothing and so achieves nothing. Every great person in history is a personal owner of a vision. Halen Keller was once asked: “What would be worse than being blind?” She answered, “To have sight with no vision.”
Areas where we need Vision:
- We need a vision for our business.
- Personal ownership of a vision is needed for our walk with the Lord Jesus Christ
- Vision is needed for our home
- Vision is need for our country.
If we have a scratch on our glasses, it may seem like everybody around us has scratches too, but the problem actually lies with us because our vision is impaired. Jesus said that our eyes are the windows of our heart. Paul prayed that the eyes of our heart would be enlightened. In other words, we perceive with our eyes but we see with our hearts.
Note: Vision can die and it takes pains to birth new things.
Vision can be described as foresight, based on insight with the benefit of hindsight. Godly vision consists of foresight, insight and oversight that come from His sight. Foresight is like looking at life through a telescope. This outlook allows us to know what is ahead as it connects us to our future. Foresight is the element of vision that helps life make sense and gives us the motivation that we described earlier.
Insight is like viewing life through a microscope. This perception gives us an understanding of why things happen in life. It also helps determine the underlying motivations of the heart.
Oversight puts life into context. It is like flying over our house in a helicopter. There is a perspective that we can only receive from this view that helps us understand where we are with respect to where everything else is. His sight assures us that the vision we have is from God. A vision from the Lord creates a mission from heaven.
Who is a Visionary Leader?
Visionary leaders have some signs that make them stand out from the rest of the crowd. Following are 7 signs of visionaries.
- They are imaginative
Visionary people can visualize things easily. When you talk to visionary leaders you can recognize them from the rest of the crowd because of their imagination. Visionaries can imagine future possibilities in their minds and then explain what they have imagined clearly. They imagine things that others cannot imagine. Through their imagination they can draw future possibilities for their organization.
- They are big-picture oriented
You can recognize visionaries by their ability to see the big picture. In a group of people, visionary ones talk about the big picture and how various factors link together to create that picture. They see the whole process and not a single step.
Since visionary leaders are big-picture oriented, they are not attached. They are not worried about why this happened and why that did not happen. They enjoy the whole process. They are patient. They see all the links in the big picture and therefore they do not blame others.
- They are focused and present
When you are in presence of a true visionary, you can feel their power. Visionaries are powerful because they are focused and present. In other words, focus and presence create power.
Since visionaries are present and focused, you can connect with them when they talk about what they have in mind, when they teach you something, or when they perform a task. People are more drawn to those who are focused and present. That is why visionaries have more followers.
- They are open minded and fan of new ideas
Visionaries have open minds. They do not limit themselves to their own thoughts and ideas. When you talk to a visionary leader, he or she is open to what you talk about and listens to your ideas and thoughts attentively.
One thing that differentiates visionary leaders from other open minded people is that visionaries tell you their expectations upfront. They give you a big picture of what they have in mind. Then they let you be creative and come up with new ideas and thoughts on how to achieve that vision. They encourage you to be as creative as possible and never afraid of presenting your so called silly ideas.
- They are positive energizers
Another sign of true visionaries is their positive attitude. Since visionaries are passionate about and connected with their vision, their positive energy level is typically high. As such, they act as positive energizers; that is, they recharge people with positive energy. Due to their positive attitude, true visionaries are surrounded by positive people who are willing to help them achieve a common vision.
- They are never afraid of failures
As mentioned earlier, true visionaries see what others cannot see. They see the big picture. They see the links among different events. They see possible obstacles. They know there would be challenges along the way. They know they might have temporary setbacks. But they also know the great value of fulfilling the vision. Therefore, true visionaries never give up. They are not afraid of failures because they know that failures are part of the process as well.
In a group of leaders, true visionaries can be recognized with their tendency towards taking risks and transforming those risks to opportunities. Their positive approach and their focus on the vision help them not be afraid of failures. Such leaders are willing to discover new paths and become searchlights for others. This is the secret of their success.
- They share and communicate the dream/vision
One of the big signs of visionaries is their willingness for sharing their vision with the world. They don’t keep it to themselves because they know that they cannot get to the destination alone. They need others for filling the gaps and that is why they communicate their vision and dreams with others to attract the right people.
Note: If you have these signs, I congratulate you for being a visionary leader. If you don’t have some of these signs, you can take the lead and improve your skills toward becoming a fully visionary leader. Vision always centers on people never projects, programs, properties, or profits. Vision focused on anything other than people is ego driven exploitation.
Seven Qualities of Visionary Leaders:
Vision-centered leaders are:
- Optimistic about the future.
- Focused on the best in their people. They focus on the unique strengths of every employee.
- Never satisfied but always content. They seem happy where they are but refuse to stay there.
- Consumed with making tomorrow better than today. Hopeful leaders never settle.
- Accepting of change.
- Inclusive, not exclusive. Hopeful leaders invite others into their vision.
- Personally bought into the Vision that is inside them.”
How to become a Visionary Leader
So, you want to become a visionary leader? But, you’re afraid that you lack the foresight and creativity needed to fit the bill. While it may be true that some seem to have been born with an aptitude to anticipate the future, all is not lost if you happen to lack such natural talent. Here are 5 steps that you can take to develop your visionary capabilities:
- Practice Re-Imagining How Things Are. Taking the time to ponder alternatives to your firm’s current ways of doing things and exploring possibilities for change can be a portal to seeing the future. It is through such consideration that break-through thinking occurs and the potential to great advances are revealed.
- Adopt an Outside-In Perspective. Seeing the business from an outsider’s point-of-view is enlightening. The practice can inform new ways of thinking and doing because it opens a business up to re-examining its “sacred cows.” The practice can lead to the discovery of better approaches to delighting customers and to the identification of new product ideas and innovations.
- Ask “Why Not?” When identifying options, don’t give up on a preferred solution just because it first appears impossible to realize. Instead, get in the habit of continually asking, “Why not?” Such convention can help you to discover revolutionary solutions to complex problems.
- Seek Synergies. Leverage ideas and concepts from like-minded people. Synergistic thinking helps to unearth better answers than the common, conventional ones that are more easily identified. Sometimes combining supporting concepts in a problem-solving effort results in the evolution of truly visionary solution.
- Integrate Disparate Ideas Into Your Thinking. Innovation can be described as the reapplication of existing technology. The act of connecting disparate thoughts and theories together to produce new and ground-breaking solutions to today’s problems represents a type of innovative thinking that truly visionary leaders possess.
The Definition of Legacy:
The dictionary would define Legacy as a gift or a bequest that is handed down, endowed or conveyed from one person to another. It is something descendible one comes into possession of that is transmitted, inherited or received from a predecessor. It is to cause or allow something originating from an ancestral source to spread between people or provide something freely and naturally.
Often when you think about legacy, it’s something that is left behind after a person has passed. Legacy is more about sharing what you have learned, not just what you have earned, and bequeathing values over valuables, as material wealth is only a small fraction of your legacy. A more holistic definition of legacy is when you are genuinely grounded in offering yourself and making a meaningful, lasting and energizing contribution to humanity by serving a cause greater than your own.
The requirements of leaving a legacy are that:
- You embrace your uniqueness
- Passionately immersing your whole self into life so that your gift will be to all
- You take responsibility to ensure that it will have a life beyond that of you, its creator, outliving and outlasting your time on earth.
Legacy germinates unity consciousness, is not an entity but an ongoing activity and is what you do between here and eternity. The lens of legacy gives you a view of your life from a generational perspective, where you become aware of the desire to live beyond yourself, focused on making a difference in the lives of others and giving back. The legacy you leave is the life you lead and therefore legacy is the residue of a life well lived. Your life matters as everything that you say and do is a deposit into your legacy. Creating your legacy is a pathway resulting in a deep sense of significance; where true meaning is found somewhere beyond the pursuit of success, which results in a ripple effect that positively impacts society. Inherently, when you shift to living your legacy, your influence comes from who you are authentically at the core and you measure value and life purpose other than by emphasis on accomplishments, wealth, recognition, prestige, acclaim, power or position.
Bible Chapters that were Visionary, who left Legacy
- Joseph: Gen 37:5-11, 41:14-49, 42:8-9
He had the vision to safe his family and the human race during the years of famine and the vision came to pass.
- Moses and Joshua: Numbers 14:6-10 27:18 & 22
He had a vision to lead the people of Israel to the Promised Land. Joshua left a legacy of declaring that no matter who Israel might choose to serve, he and his household will serve the Lord.
- David and Solomon
- Paul and Timothy
Paul had a personal compelling ambition to uphold Judaism but God gave him another compelling vision to be an apostle to the greater picture (Salvation). The legacy of Paul apart from being the apostle that reached the unreached, the Gentiles, he wrote almost half of the New Testament.
Of all the letters and epistles Paul the apostle wrote, he wrote just two to Timothy and Titus, the rest to the church. Meanwhile, he wrote two letters to the young Timothy, showing how visionary the young man was.
John the Beloved, he envisioned a life of love and he left a legacy of it. He also envisioned the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ on the island of Patmos.
Turning Vision to Legacy
What is required? – HAB 2:1 – 3
- Conception (HEAR IT & SAY IT)
- Communication (LIVE IT & TEACH IT) Acts 1:1
- Carry Out (EXECUTE IT & MENTORSHIP)
In conclusion, not everyone is a natural born visionary. However, with work and perseverance, you can develop the skills needed to become a better Leader. The most important virtue of a visionary leader is leaving a worthy legacy for generations to come.