Painting big pictures

To a great extent, leadership is all about vision.

The ability to imagine, articulate and transmit an image so powerful, that the “big picture” dreamed eventually gets painted.

It becomes reality.

These “big pictures” need to be painted in such a way that anyone can readily “see” the desired reality. I

t is incumbent upon leadership to convey that vision in such a compelling way that others will not simply want to invest themselves in it.

They will create a sense of urgency for others to be a part of it as well.

To commit themselves.

To allocate their personal resources to make that image reality.

To want to become as one with that vision.

Not just off somewhere in the background.  Along with the rest of the shrubbery.  Tucked in by the matting or under the frame.

They need to be able to see  themselves as an integral and meaningful part of the work in progress.

They need to know that they will have an opportunity to add their own strokes – whether broad or fine – to enhance the overall significance of the masterpiece.

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When a vision is bold, there is bound to  be discomfort.

Leadership that chooses to work towards a desired reality far beyond the confines of the known takes a great deal of courage.

To press beyond existing limits, actual or perceived, is always a  difficult task.

Not for the faint of heart.

It is a choice that involves and produces risk.  There could be fits and starts.  Even periods of inertia.

Without commitment, action with intention and the fortitude to leave safe harbor – there can be no avenues for growth.

Should venturing out into the great unknown be too daunting, there can be little opportunity for improvement.

Without embracing risk, average will become  the accepted standard of achievement.

Only wishful thinking will accompany any notions of excellence.

Leaving the comfort of the known creates discomfort.

It commands effort, requires responsibility and demands accountability. Assignments that many would rather not have thrust upon them.

And more often than not, it is precisely these elements that can  doom an endeavor of this type right from the start.

But leadership that can “see” and articulate the big picture can cast a deep and lasting impression.  One that will ripple outward.

Leadership that is genuinely invested in achieving the desired reality will change perceptions, remove obstacles and overcome inertia.

This brand of leadership is powerful.

It is a blessing.

It creates opportunity for all.

A mode of meaningful contribution.

A fair return on their  initial investment.

And a  chance for all to help paint that big picture.

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