A clear and well-communicated vision is essential for a leader to gain support and for followers to understand a leader’s goals.

A vision is defined as a clear, distinctive, and specific view of the future and is usually connected with strategic organizational advances. Influential leaders will clearly define a vision and communicate it in such a way as to foster enthusiasm and commitment throughout the organization. This ability to express and use a vision to inspire others differentiates a leader from a manager.

Many researchers believe that vision is an essential quality of influential leaders, as important as the ability to communicate and build trust. Leaders’ decisions and strategies reflect their view of what an enterprise can be rather than what it currently is. A strong leader builds trust in the vision by consistently acting with it and demonstrating to others what it takes to make it a reality.

Vision is an essential component of an organization’s success. A thriving organization will have a succinct vision indicative of the company is direction and widely understood throughout all levels. The more employees know, understand, and believe in the vision, the more valuable it is in directing their behavior daily.

Vision and mission are sometimes used interchangeably, but a helpful distinction exists. A vision describes an organization’s direction, while its mission defines its purpose. By focusing on the value an organization creates, the mission helps prioritize activities and provides a framework for decision-making.

Vision also plays a significant role in a leader’s strategy for the organization. By setting the direction, a vision underscores the necessity of all the areas of a business working toward the same goal. This unity of purpose often involves changing what is done and how, and aligning the activities and behavior of people is critical to fulfilling a leader’s vision. A vision reduces ambiguity and provides focus—two benefits especially valuable in turbulent or rapidly changing times.

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