The Vision of Leadership

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law                                                                                                                                  Proverbs 29:18

There are many dimensions of leadership, but I will close this discussion of leadership principles with the “vision of leadership”. Vision is an irreplaceable aspect of excellent leadership. A good leader has an idea of where the people, the organization, he/she leads must go in order to prosper and succeed. That leader can articulate those goals, give heart to people to follow that vision, and then do the hard work of leading toward those goals.

The problem often is that the goals are not seen by people, and they have trouble following the hard course set out by the visionary leader. It takes courage and tenacity for a good leader to move forward toward what he/she knows is the best course for the people he or she leads. The leader also models such leadership by discipline and steadfast movement toward achieving the lofty goals set forth.

This entails that the leader is acting in the best interest of the people led. This takes selfless courage, and discipline. These attributes are hard to find, but if you have had the blessing of being under such leadership, you feel secure and satisfied that you are on a powerful mission- one that is worth the sacrifices you must make. The mission has become more important than personal gratification, and that is what gives our lives meaning and value.

Yes, we are all headed in a direction. If, like Alice above, that direction does not matter, leadership does not matter. But if we want a clear and meaningful direction, a mission, we need strong, courageous, visionary leadership.  

Prayer: Father, thank you for strong, courageous leaders whom you have put into our lives. Give us courage and strength to move toward the lofty goals of serving your creation, Amen.

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