Without a vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18). This message is succinct, yet you can glean a sense of urgency, a call to action, and a dire consequence of inaction from two clauses, six words, twenty-nine letters. The cause-effect relationship is clear. If there is no vision, there will be no followers — no one to carry your hopes, dreams, and plans into the future.
Some of the best ideas are conceived and birthed from some of the brightest minds. Though these hopes and dreams born out of a perceived need are brilliant, their light is quickly extinguished if there is no light bearer, if there is no road map.
I’m no ophthalmologist, but I can recognize someone suffering from myopia just from spending a little time observing him or her. The good news is that myopia is treatable. There’s hope. Seek wise counsel. In fact, pray for it and watch what happens. Remember, iron sharpens iron. After securing a mentor, the next step is clear.
Go to the people and tell them your vision. Allow them to use their talents, abilities, and gifts (TAGs) to help you create a road map. Follow the road map, and make a few adjustments along the way. Rest when you’re weary. Fuel up when you’re empty. Move when you’re tired of sitting still. Never get too comfortable.
I met a man years ago who was called a visionary. He had great ideas, dreams, and hopes for a better educational experience for students in his school. He worked for years to bring his dreams to life, but as soon as they were conceived, they withered and died almost immediately. He, like some leaders, suffered from myopia. Those around him who saw no success come of those dreams and hopes lost respect for this dreamer because he was shortsighted. Having a vision without a plan is like having a picture of a magnificent, 12-layer cake and all the ingredients, but you don’t have a recipe. This leader needed a recipe. Because he lacked a plan and chose to work alone, he soon burned out and left the profession.
A new leader took his place years later, and though she wasn’t a visionary, she has a recipe for success, and she found a teacher on her staff who had been a project manager. She took her predecessor’s vision, created a road map, articulated the timeline, and the people were intrigued. For once in their lives, they had hope. Over time, all of the dreams of the visionary were born of this surrogate — the new leader who carried the hopes and dreams of a brighter future, shared the excitement of a bright future with the people, and they became excited — ignited in fact! In this case, the cure for myopia was a simple recipe — equal parts vision (to know your goal), plan (to know the steps), people (to execute the plan), and a little fire (to light the way).