A Compelling Vision

A competent leader will have a compelling vision that challenges people to work toward a higher standard of excellence. A vision is a mental model of an ideal future state. It provides a picture of a future that is better than the present, is grounded in values, and advocates change toward some new set of ideals. Visions function as a map to give people direction. Visions also challenge people to commit themselves to a greater common good.

First, an effective leader clearly articulates the vision to others. This requires the leader to adapt the vision to the attitudes and values of the audience. Second, the leader highlights the intrinsic values of the vision, emphasizing how the vision presents ideals worth pursuing. Third, a competent leader uses language that is motivating and uplifting to articulate the vision. Finally, the leader uses inclusive language that enlists participation from others and builds community.

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A challenge for a leader is to carry out the difficult processes of implementing a vision. To implement a vision, the leader needs to be a living model of the ideals and values articulated in the vision. In addition, they must set high performance expectations for others, and encourage and empower others to reach their goals.

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