If being visionary is so important, then why don't many leaders have vision? What are the reasons for not being visionary? If we know the reasons we can come up with solutions and become more visionary. The following nine reasons show why many people are not true visionaries:
1. Focus on short-term goals
When you focus on short-term goals, you forget about the big picture and your vision. Short-term goals are important, but long-term success depends on how focused you are on your vision. If you focus on short-term goals, you limit yourself. Short-term goals should be stepping-stones to achieving the ultimate goal. If you don't know the ultimate goal, your short-term goals will not take you anywhere. Without vision, you are not going to experience a quantum leap.
2. Inability to see the big picture
Many leaders are not able to see the big picture. When you are so caught up with details and attached to the outcome of short-term goals, you have zoomed in with a magnifying glass to see what is going on. If you don't know how to zoom out, you will not be able to see the big picture.
Your world becomes very small, and you cannot interrelate various events. Gradually you become reactive rather than proactive, and that is when the chances of falling down increase.
3. Lack of passion and interest in the task in hand
You cannot be visionary in what you do if you are not energized about what you do. So lack of passion for what you do causes lack of vision. It is a sign that you are not living your purpose. When you live your purpose by doing what you love, you naturally become visionary by leading with purpose.
4. Fear of being rejected
Many people are not visionary because they are afraid of being rejected by others for the vision they set. They do not talk about their vision because they think people would not understand and would dismiss it.
Fear of rejection is the major cause of not communicating the vision or even worse, not having a vision. Fear of rejection is also the reason for not initiating changes to fulfil the vision.
5. Fear of change and taking responsibility
Do you have a great vision but are afraid of applying changes to get closer to fulfilling your vision? Do you blame yourself or others for the failures in your organization? If your answer is yes, then you cannot call yourself a true visionary. You need to do some inner work and overcome your fear of change by taking full responsibility.
Taking responsibility is one of the key characteristics of authentic leaders. Many so-called leaders are afraid of change. Although they might have a vision, they do not apply the necessary changes because they don't want to take full responsibility for what happens.
6. Lack of knowledge about the importance of vision in leadership
Many leaders do not know how to develop a clear and empowering vision. They don't know how to visualize their dreams to make them come true. They don't know how to communicate their visions. They don't know how to zoom out and look at the big picture to take the necessary action. Likewise, they don't know which tools they need to measure their progress toward fulfilling their vision. Are you one of them?
If you think you are, don't worry. The good news is that everyone has the potential to become the best visionary they can be.
7. Lack of confidence in painting a dream for the self and the team
Being confident is a major factor in authentic leadership. Lack of confidence makes us refuse many opportunities that knock on our door. Many times we are given the chance to lead, but we don't take it because we think we are not ready yet or it is too big for us. We are not confident in our ability to dream a big dream for the team (including ourselves) and then paint that dream on the canvas of our mind. We think that no one would care about painting a dream for the team.
The more we leave behind current leadership opportunities and the practice of being visionary, the less confident we become in taking future opportunities.
8. Lack of trust
Trust is necessary in visionary leadership. We might have a great vision and communicate it well. However, if we don't trust in people who are necessary to make our vision a reality, then we live in a fantasy. We must trust in our vision, in the big picture, in ourselves, and in others to help make the dream come true. Lack of any of these factors results in ineffectiveness of vision.
9. Random leadership
Many people take leadership roles randomly. They have no clear reason why they accept leadership roles and have no strong desire to take such roles. If you ask them why they took it, they would say because no one else did! They have no interest in developing vision and communicating that vision to bring it to reality. This is what I call random leadership.
Random leadership happens when we accept a leadership role as a volunteer, and since it is volunteer based, we do not take it seriously. When we don't take a leadership opportunity seriously, we do not care about vision and fulfilling the vision. Chances are that we would not meet our goals for that role and would not be impressed by the people or the results.
Some random leaders fall in love with leadership, take on more roles, and make an effort to become better every time they take on a new challenge.The other random leaders get off the leadership boat and have no idea why they got on in the first place. They may or may not take another leadership role randomly. Once they take it on again, the cycle repeats itself.
Kamran Akbarzadeh, PhD, is a motivational and inspiring author, speaker, seminar leader, and coach. In 2009, with a vision to inspire others to live on purpose and lead on purpose, Kamran founded Dream Achievers Academy. As the CEO of the Academy, Kamran believes that the world is in desperate need of authentic leaders who lead with their hearts and who empower people to soar to greatness no matter where they are and what they do. It was this conviction that inspired Kamran to author his Amazon best-selling book, Leadership Soup. With a background in research, engineering, and leadership, Kamran helps business owners, executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and employees achieve productivity, profit, and prosperity by linking purpose, passion, and people through authentic leadership! Kamran has appeared as a guest on many radio shows to talk about his message of authentic leadership.
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