Vision - What’s faith got to do with it?
Well it depends on whose definition you read, but ultimately it comes down to "Complete trust, confidence or belief in someone or something without necessary proof.”
So, how does faith play into corporate or personal visions? Well, employees need to have faith that the future reality described in the vision statement can be realized, otherwise they will not buy-in and hence will not commit to implementing it.
Let’s face it – embracing and owning your own vision takes a significant leap of faith – the bigger the vision – the greater the leap. For true leaders, we believe our visions before anything ever happens. We evangelize the benefits of our products, solutions, visions way before their execution and if we do it well, if we are able to authentically connect with others, we are able to inspire and motivate them to join us. They begin to have faith in us, our ability to achieve the vision.
Pursuing a vision will test, stretch and deplete your faith – the greater the vision the more triggers to challenge you. It will defy your faith in your team, your supporters and yourself which may bring you face to face with your ultimate faith in something greater than you; whatever that may be … the place you go when you ultimately realize things are not in your control and you need to let them go for your own peace and sanity.
As our visions come to life so does our level of success (on paper anyway). We have all seen this as an individual’s visions come to fruition and they pass through the awkward, scary, vulnerable phase of vision casting where faith is crucial to success. They tend to develop a bit of a swagger, maybe an ‘air of arrogance’. Success can turn the humblest woman or man into an oppressor as a result of this sense of self-sufficiency.
What has happened? We can truly see the depth and authenticity of one’s faith – in team, community, people, self and that which is “greater than them” – ultimately, they become the “greatest”, where nothing is superior to them. Success certainly can be a double-edged sword if left to its own devices.
In fact, it is much more difficult for a leader to act in a faithful manner when he is successful, then when he is not.
Occasionally we do see leaders and visionaries maintain a spirit of dependence, humility and vulnerability when they are highly successful – the success dilemma.
When we do, we celebrate them! If not we should.
Time for reflection:
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