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Do You Have a Dream? Visionary Planning

What do Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Jessica Jackley, Andrew Carnegie and Meg Whitman have in common?

They all had a dream. If you look up each of these people, you will find that they had the spark of an idea and with planning, dedication and perseverance they created something that has changed the lives of people for generations. In some cases, what they did – especially in its earliest stages – was misunderstood by many of those around them. However, those dreams did eventually come to pass. In the business world, as well as in that of the non-profit, it is necessary that one have a vision. Typically, this vision does not come in a flash of brilliance, but rather as the result of a problem.

What It Means To Have a Vision

In order to be successful, a business or ministry needs to know where it is headed. This is one of the key elements of organizational planning. If you are a leader in your organization, then it is up to you to help your team get that vision. You need to take the time to construct a definition of what that vision means in your own unique situation. The words used must have clear meanings, so everyone is on the same page; this will go a long way toward establishing a congregational corporate language.

There are many misconceptions regarding having a vision, but one of the most prevalent is that having a vision is about what is going to be accomplished. While this is a part of a vision, it is not the vision. Instead, a vision is about a future state of being. Quite often, the future state of the vision is much like the Polaroid pictures of the 70s and 80s. When the picture was first taken, it was fuzzy and left one wondering how it would look when fully developed. After some time passed, you could see the picture in all its glory. Oftentimes, the vision for your organization, like the undeveloped Polaroid, is a bit hazy at the outset, but in time, it will be revealed fully and clearly.

The ultimate picture of your company will be revealed the same way. And while it may have its ups and downs, trials and triumphs and an assortment of lessons learned along the way, that is all part of the process, not a reason to quit dreaming. Simply, a vision is not fait accompli overnight – it is done in stages. These stages are:
  • Birth – This is the obstacle to be overcome

  • Burden – When the obstacle moves from being seen not as “What was” but to “What could be” and “what should be”

  • The burden then becomes a passion or purpose.

  • The passion/purpose clarifies the opportunity – This is looking beyond the challenge and seeing them as opportunities.

So what happens next? After all, there is more to be done once you get that vision. You can’t just sit there indefinitely and see what will happen—you want to act. But how? What might that look like? Check in later to learn more.
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