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Thursday Thoughts: Finding Your Vision

I am a graduate student at George Washington University and I am fortunate enough to be taking a leadership class with a former high-level government official. My professor has served at the highest levels of government, and provides a first hand account how to lead large, complex and bureaucratic government agencies. Every Thursday I’ll post some thoughts on previous lectures that intrigued me, hopefully they do the same for you.

Finding Your Vision

We’ve all heard the term “vision” whether it be a political candidate’s vision for the future or an organization’s vision and mission. How do you figure out what your vision is?

“Vision” as I am going to discuss is essentially how you think about things. This vision is applied mastery of certain skills and experience you’ve had throughout your life. It allows you to take what you do and share with others how you perceive, how you think, and how you understand. When you know your personal vision it allows you to interact with other people and see how they are building their lives and what their vision may be.

There are two types of engagement people make when going after their vision – Commitment and Enrolled. A committed person knows what they want, they’re going to make it happen, and they’ll do whatever is necessary to do so. Someone who is enrolled in their vision does what they can within the spirit of the law. That’s not saying someone who is committed is an unethical law breaker, but an enrolled person is a little more cautious with their steps.

If you’re in a position of leadership, you must try to create a cause for action where people will enroll or commit to your vision. When you can get people at a committed or enrolled level, they disassociate a large part of their personal interest and have subordinated that to something else. My professor spoke of times during crises where the team was disjointed and not working together efficiently. By establishing a vision that others could subscribe to, the organization moved forward with the necessary work and accomplished its goals. No team is effective without a shared vision and getting everyone onto the same page with this vision will create mission synergy.


Are you a committed or enrolled person to your personal vision? How have you or a manager created a shared vision within your organization to achieve mission synergy?

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Profile Photo Tim J. Clark

The description of vision, e.g., “how you think about things” is closer to a description of a leadership philosopy or framework.

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