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Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs — each of these leaders shared a clear and compelling vision with their followers. Each of these leaders offered a vision of a better future founded on purpose — not money.

In order to become a leader, you must first have a vision. You must then communicate it.

A vision is not a dream, it’s a clear picture or an idea you have for a better future — for yourself, your business or any other endeavour.

Why you need a vision

There are two important reasons why as a leader you need a vision:

Vision creates purpose — with purpose, a vision becomes the driving force behind everything you do. It helps you pursue your dreams, overcome obstacles, achieve your goals and produce a successful outcome.

Vision provides focus — the more clearly focused you are on exactly what you want, the easier and faster it will come into your reality. It’s also much easier to lead if you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve. Even if you don’t have much experience as a leader, having a clear vision will help you through.

How to create a vision

Your vision should be emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual. You must see your vision, feel your vision and live your vision. It has to be in your mind and soul.

Here’s how you do it:

1. Focus on people — never projects, programs, properties or profits.

2. Give it hope — hope creates and energies vision. Separated from hope, a vision is futile. Leaders without hope are lost, along with everyone who follows them.

3. Think big — when you build your vision, vision big. Anything is possible within a vision.

4. Give it passion — when you create a successful vision, you begin to feel passionate about it. That gives it power.

5. Include who you want to be — it’s important to know exactly who you are right now, in order to know who you want to become.

6. Choose your vision wisely and precisely — you just might get it.

7. Make a mental picture in your mind — add feelings and emotions. Walk, talk and act like you have achieved it already. Bring it to life.

8. Be persistent — to bring your vision into reality you must have persistence and discipline. A vision demands it.

A vision is much deeper than a vision statement you find somewhere on the corporate head office wall. A vision statement is not a vision. They’re boring, full of corporate jargon and bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo — and far to bland to drive any real change.

“The companies that survive longest are the one’s that work out what they uniquely can give to the world — not just growth or money but their excellence, their respect for others, or their ability to make people happy. Some call those things a soul.” — Charles Handy