When was the last time…
- you went for a blindfolded stroll in the park?
- drove your car at night with the headlights off?
- read a book in the dark?
I’m willing to assume your answer is somewhere along the lines of, “I’ve never done any of those things, Kenny. ” This is because you understand the value of sight. You need to see what you’re doing in order to be able to do it well.
Sight vs. Vision
We get the idea of “sight” pretty easily in the short term,tangible sense. I need to see 10 feet in front of me when I’m walking down the hall or I risk bumping into someone. I can choose not to keep my eyes open, but that will end badly. In that sense, I really don’t have a choice. I have to see.
What we have a lot of difficulty grasping, however, is the need for “sight” in the long term, intangible sense. In this case, we’re not talking about 10 feet ahead of us. We’re talking about 10 years. The hallway I mentioned before is no longer a hallway. It’s the path on which we set our life’s intentions.
This is where “sight” becomes “vision.”
Why do We Close Our Eyes?
In this case we do have a choice because the danger of choosing not to see is not as immediately apparent as before. We can stumble down the wrong path for 5 years with our eyes closed. We don’t open them until we bump into something big like bankruptcy, depression, or burn-out.
Unfortunately, I see too many people let their lives play out this way. They concentrate on the short-term; “seeing” their way through life’s day-to-day challenges. They focus on the immediate always to the detriment of the ultimate.
There’s never a plan, never a direction, never a vision.
You Can Open Your Eyes Now
A leader needs to have a clear vision. A leader needs to see the destination and envision the path to the finish line. Without that vision, the leader is merely a blind man at the front of a pack of other blind men. Ultimately, they all end up walking off of a cliff.
I’m working on an eBook right now that will dig much deeper into this topic of vision, but for now I’ll leave it at this: Develop a long-term vision for what your influence as a leader will actually accomplish.
You may not be trying to change the world right now and that’s ok.
Your vision doesn’t have to include you at the top of some large corporation. Maybe its you leading a friend away from a drug addiction. Or, maybe its you helping a young couple avoid making the same mistakes that you and your spouse made in the past.
Whatever it is, don’t ignore it. Open your eyes to the next couple of weeks, months, or years. Embrace and focus on that vision. Actively oppose the times of resistance when it will seem easier to close your eyes. Keep them open and stay the course.
What does your vision look like?