The following are some notable points I gleaned from Jim George’s book “A Leader After God’s Own Heart: 15 Ways to Lead with Strength.” I highly recommend the book for Christian and secular leaders alike. The book is a study of Nehemiah from the Old Testament.
We need to understand the importance of visionary thinking and the following key features that a vision – or desired outcome – must possess:
- A vision must be felt deeply. The more strongly a visionary believes in a cause, mission, or dream, the more likely they will be able to excite and involve others.
- A vision must be shared. A vision, if left unacted upon, is only a dream. If a leader can properly communicate his or her vision, it can become a powerful motivating force. A leader’s passion can’t merely be a slogan hanging on the wall or shouted out once and a while, or a dream in his or her head. If that vision is to gain form, take flight, be useful, and make a difference, it must be developed and passed on to others. Sharing an exciting vision with others in a way that compels them to act is an element of successful leadership.
- A vision must inspire. A visionary must stir emotion in their listeners and inspire enthusiasm, belief, and commitment. The leader’s vision is even more powerful if they can convince others of its benefits to them and to others. A good leader must challenge people to surpass themselves, to stretch and reach, to see the noble nature of each project or idea. If it’s a worthy future that the visionary is proposing, that makes each employee’s job that much easier and more rewarding.
- A vision must unify. If the visionary is successful and has clearly set a direction and purpose for their followers, they will generate loyalty and unity through the mutual involvement of their listeners. If his or her leadership is in the context of a company, it will describe and reflect on the unique strengths, culture, values, beliefs, and direction that this new idea, product, concept, or vision will have on the organization. They will convince their fellow workers that their individual efforts are part of something bigger than themselves and their daily work, and that together, they can succeed in making the vision become reality.
- A vision must be repeatedly shared. A visionary doesn’t forget his dreams. They are permanently burned into his or her brain. They keep him or her up at night-they drive him or her forward. But because their people don’t “own” this vision in the same way they do, they needs to repeatedly share it or the people will forget about it. So the leader must remind them often of their purpose, their cause, their mission, their contribution. They must do this constantly and continuously. The leader must prompt their people to recall and remember the vision that’s been placed before them. When a leader believes in an idea or mission, it can become a great source of strength both for him and for others.
Refuse to give up on what is a right direction for your family, team, cause, or company. If your idea is a good one, somehow it will take root and blossom.
Renewal is the answer to refilling the physical, mental, and spiritual gas tank, or recharging ones batteries.
- Realize renewal is vital to effective and successful leadership. Just as we keep a watchful eye on the gas gauge in your automobile, we must be careful to recognize your personal indicators that renewal is needed.
- Remember renewal means going back to the basics. Renewal involves reinventing my successful past.
- Realize change is a form of renewal.
- Rejoice! Renewal is an opportunity to reinvent yourself.
To keep from being swept away by the tides of change, and to ensure the strength of my leadership, we must change – we must adapt to meet the demands of the present as well as the future. We must renew ourselves physically, mentally, and especially spiritually to be equipped for life as we face it today … and then wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.
From the leadership book, “A Leader After God’s Own Heart: 15 Ways to Lead with Strength” – by Jim George