The act and art of setting goals as a leader is a very essential part of the things that identifies the kind of person that particular leader is and how he or she sees things. Vision is always used to refer to the creation of a desired mental image or condition which comes about when a current condition or situation has been found to be irrelevant. It is not something that can be done in haste and as such each and every individual is required to show maturity and total understanding of the goals that he or she is setting and the effects it will have on people both positively and negatively.
Every follower wishes to be in the company of a leader who has a very unique vision that is interactive and inspiring and challenges them to be the best that they can ever be. In other words, they look for leaders with visions that ensure that people are made to realise their full potentials. This has however served to disrupt the minds of a lot of people who have an interest in taking up leadership positions as they feel that they cannot create visions that will test followers or workers to their optimum limits. If you fall within such a category of people then it is best that you read what we have for you to the end. This article is to provide you with some key things that you need to be aware of in order to set an appropriate vision as a leader.
Critically observe the current condition: Every goal that is set is always based on certain current conditions not being good and therefore there arises the need to make sure that the necessary steps are taken to rectify such conditions in the future. This therefore means that before any goal can be set by you, you must first look at all the things that are happening in the specific area of concern to you. This will put you in a better position to really know what is being done wrongly and what should have been done. It is essential to have a basis upon which to formulate your vision as no individual can come out with a vision without having a cause. It involves how things are being done and what impact they have on the lives of people and how they can also be corrected.
Visualise the future condition: Now that you have been able to identify and observe the current condition, the next step that you have to take is to create that mental image of how things should be in reality. This involves the modelling of the current situation and putting in all the necessary things which are needed to make it function properly. This is what will help you in coming out with a very inspirational and self motivating vision which will have the ability to draw people to put in their best.
Observe the differences between the two states: This step simply refers to taking some time out to carefully look at the differences between the vision of the future condition that you want to come up with and the present condition that you are currently experiencing. When the difference between the present and the future is very wide, it is an indication that you are setting goals that are unrealistic. To set such goals will only help in making your followers to lose interest in what you have targeted. On the other hand, when the differences are not that significant then it also implies that you will not be able to challenge people to achieve their maximum potentials. Setting higher unachievable goals or lower performance goals all leads to one thing for every leader and that is failure. This is why you need to make sure that you know the kind of vision you are setting and how it will challenge people to be their best.
Regulate the tension between the two states to find a balance: This part of setting an appropriate vision requires you to either do away with some of the things you have stated or to add more to what you already have in order to strike a balance between the current stat and the desired future condition that you crave. When you are able to strike that balance then you would have created a vision that challenges people to achieve their full potentials.
These are the things that every leader needs to know if he or she wishes to set an appropriate and challenging goal or vision.
About the author: Jeff Evans, Ph.D. I am CEO of Envision Global
Leadership, Inc., a leadership development and organization development
consulting firm focused on change navigation.