Visionary Leaders Needed
We live in a time of breathtaking change and challenge, and therapists are reporting an uptick in anxiety. Paradoxically, this is the best time ever to shake off overwhelm, get quiet, and tune into what might be possible in our lives, our careers, our organizations, our country, and globally. This is because upheaval creates new openings and opportunities.
Creativity, innovation, and most importantly vision have never been more needed.
Being a visionary leader is not dependent on circumstances because it is coming from an inspired place of what is possible, not what exists.
So, what is this vision thing? It is not hazy dreaming, it is not random thoughts, it is not safe and predictable, it is not having to know how it will come to fruition. It is also not about the reach of the vision, the size of the transformation it encompasses.
A vision for a career, a home, a church, a healthy body, a family, a relationship with a child, a park, one product, a service are just as key as a vision for a country or a movement.
Size doesn't matter here because the deep inter-connectedness of all life means that any change ripples out in powerful ways. Vision also doesn't necessarily have to do with changing anything outside of ourselves - we can have a vision for how to show up at our job or in our community in more love and service and beautiful things will unfold from that.
On the other hand, there is no need to be afraid of a big vision and there is no telling what could evolve from whatever steps you take. One of my heroes Howard Thurman, who was an African-Amercian coming of age in the era of Jim Crow, had a vision that all people could come together across race and class to create a better society. Thurman taught at Howard University and left in 1944 to put his vision into practice in the life of a congregation. He was cofounder of one of the first intentionally interracial and interfaith congregations in the country, the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples in San Francisco.
Thurman, who had met Gandhi in India, also had a huge impact on Martin Luther King Jr and the civil rights movement when he introduced them to the philosophy of nonviolence that Gandhi used which brought together moral courage and contemplation to address racism and violence. (A PBS documentary Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story details his journey.)
We all can be visionary leaders in our own sphere. We each have a template within us of what we love to do, what we are passionate about defending or creating, what possibilities we see that no one else sees in exactly the same way.
Our businesses, community groups, and organizations also have unique ways of impacting the world and do best when they are unfolding from within a compelling vision.
Tips for tapping into your Visionary Leader self:
- Slow down, tune in to your inner guidance which is a direct line to Spirit, the Universe, God, the Goddess (however you define the energy of all of life), and become aware of what is calling to you, what hints you are getting from life that something around you or in the world could be created, improved, expanded, or enhanced. Give it color, sparkle, and enthusiasm in your imagination. Trust your inspiration here.
- Take a few small steps toward your vision, ask for help from the universe, and see what happens. Keep taking steps through the open doors you find as you go along, and if you do not find open doors, turn around and go within again. Keep re-connecting with your inner guidance and keep pouring love all over everything, including yourself.
- Make sure what you are doing serves the greater good. We are more effective coming from service than from ego. Bring others into your visioning process for a joint project or in your team or organization.
You are the catalyst for great things!
©Jane Midgley Coaching