Why is it important for a leader to have a clear vision and goals? The Merriam-Webster dictionary (2011) defines vision as “a thought, concept, or object formed by the imagination” and goal as “the end toward which effort is directed”. The proverb 29:18 of the bible states, “Without a vision, the people perish…”, however, Rev. Mark Hiehle’s (2011) logic is that the opposite rings true as well, “With a vision, the people prosper." (para.1); this principle does not just apply to the ordinary person but also to organizations. Ordinary people and organizations alike face a daily battle of combating ever changing situations and environments. In order to be successful, grow, and attain flexibility to overcome obstacles, one first has to have a vision and then set goals to bring the vision to life. A vision has to be clearly articulated and formulated. There should be no room for interpretation.
In his article “Leading & Leadership” Don Clark (2010) reiterates that successful organizations have a strong vision of their future to ensure survival and prosperity, combined with applying the proper goal setting and leadership tools. Visions are also important because
“Organizations whose leaders have no vision are doomed to work under the burden of mere tradition. They cannot prosper and grow because they are reduced to keeping things the way they have always been; they are guided by the saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." (Gaves, M. & Snyder, H., 1994).
Preparedness, foresight, speed, ability to accept change, and flexibility are the keys. Companies maintaining the status quo are bound to run into trouble. Eventually, they will find their organization less competitive in the market compared to other companies which have strong vision, goals, and objectives, and are thus prepared to change direction or adjust strategies at any given time.
Change can be invaluable, but it starts with a vision. It is essential to anticipate change, know when to change direction, and how to manage these challenges. Clark makes it a point that a leader really has to sell his vision to the employees, involve them in the decision making process, and also needs to gain their trust to bring his vision to fruition. People need a strong sense of direction. Lack of clear...