If you have ever attended a leadership conference, read a leadership book, or even been in a room where leadership is being taught, you have no doubt heard the word vision. It’s used in all areas, not just because it is a buzzword, but because it’s that important. Many of us hear or read stories about leaders with these huge visions, and we often feel deflated because our vision has become dull, or even worse, we don’t have one.
So what do we do then? How to we jump-start our passion that leads to vision?
Realize you are normal.
You can interview 100 great leaders, and if they are honest, they will be able to recount a time when they, too, had a dulled vision. All vision has a shelf life, and when it ends, they also had to go back to the proverbial drawing board and see what God has for them next. Don’t put undue pressure on yourself or try to imitate someone else’s vision. Just know that you are normal and nothing is wrong with you.
De-clutter your emotional space.
Great vision is birthed from great passion. Passion is only birthed from God. When you are on an emotional overload, your heart is so full of other things, it’s difficult to find a new passion. Many times, I need to clean up and/or get off social media (for example, un-following or de-friending people on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram that only frustrate you), disconnect from countless meetings, delegate more, and re-prioritize my world for a period of time. All these things take from your emotional tank, and when the tank is empty, passion will be hard to ignite.
This is critical—and many times very difficult. This exercise is about honesty. Ask yourself hard questions, and be completely honest. Rate your dependence on God. Rate the effectiveness of your prayer time. Rate how aggressively you are seeking the heart of God. I fully understand how hard this is, but I also know it is a much needed event in the lives of leaders.
Divine holding periods are necessary for all leaders. It is in these times that we are forced to live out the scripture, “Be still and know I am Lord.” Leaders are usually driven, and being patient is not normally in their DNA. However, a forced “vision” is one that will never succeed long term, which will only frustrate you further.
God will give the vision. It will be from his heart to yours, and when it hits, it will be something that no one will be able to take from you or be able to stop. Your job during your holding period is to be ready. Stay in prayer. Clear your heart. Be vigilant in seeking God, and when the vision is finally clear, do not waste time. Get moving!
Vision is vital to personal and organizational life. It is the lifeblood that keeps things going, and when it feels dried up, it often leaves us frustrated. Be confident that God will impart or renew vision, and when he does, be courageous and make it happen!