Can leadership exist where there is no vision? For perspective, let us review the Story of the Three Stonemasons.
Three stonemasons were busy at work when a passerby asked them, “What are you doing?”
The first stonemason responded, “Laying bricks, sir.”
The second mason answered, “Earning a living.”
But, when asked by the passerby what he was doing, the third stonemason said, “I’m building a cathedral.”
The third craftsperson had a vision and saw the greater purpose of their labor. It was the third that recognized they would leave a lasting legacy.
Leadership without vision isn’t true leadership at all. It is management. While management is both valuable and necessary, it is simply not the stuff that takes people and organizations to new heights of achievement.
For an organization to grow, to move boldly forward, the leader must know where her organization is and where she wants it to go. She must have and convey a compelling vision, one powerful enough to call her constituents to action. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream,” speech is a classic example of the type of vision that inspires the passionate dedication of those who share in it.
No less important than organizational vision is personal vision. Your vision is your beacon, a clear and constant guide to the life of your choosing. “You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you do small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” (Alvin Toffler)
What are the ‘big things’ in your world? What will be your legacy?
What’s your cathedral?