Fall 2020, Leadership the ”Flying Carpet”:
Health, Time, Space and Vision
Special Issue December 2020
Basic Leadership Skills course – The Apple and The Candle
- 1 leadership journey: semester Fall 2020
- 4 communities: Health – Time – Space – Vision
- 1 title: Fall 2020, Leadership the ” Flying Carpet”: Health, Time, Space and Vision
- 4 articles:
#Health and Leadership: how our wellbeing influences our leadership styles
#Time and cultivating Leadership
#Space in correlation with Leadership: How space shapes the work of leaders in times of Covid-19 and beyond
#Vision and its connection to Leadership
Vision and its connection to Leadership
Student-Authors of the course Basic Leadership Skills – Fall 2020
VISION: Community F.I.R.E.S
Anika Jaeger (Germany), Hortense Mangin (France), Moritz Ruhrmann (Germany), Alina Shcherbak (Ukraine), Leon Wilhelm (Germany), Livia Romana Zoccoli (Italy), Marcella Zoccoli (JAMK University of Applied Sciences)
Student Editor-in-chief Fall 2020: Anika Jaeger
“Leadership: the capacity to translate vision into reality”
– Warren G Bennis
“A leadership vision is an essential tool to focus attention on what is most important, what you want to achieve in your life, and what kind of leader you want to be. A useful vision must emerge from the past or be linked to it, for example through experience, showing the way and the goal into the future, and dealing with today’s reality. It represents who you are and what you stand for. It inspires you and the people whose commitment you need to act in order to bring about constructive change towards the future you all desire”(Friedmann, 2008).
Thanks to today’s abundance of literature, there are many different definitions and explanations of “vision”. In order for us as a community to be able to talk about the same characteristics of a “vision”, we first created our own definition of “vision” during the fall semester in the Basic Leadership skills course at JAMK University of Applied Sciences. In the first instance, each of us has developed his or her own personal idea of the word “vision” so that we can then formulate all of the characteristics we have in common into a common meaning.
This article, therefore, starts with our own definition of “vision” and in the course of the article, we use it to connect it with leadership. This article’s content is meant to deliver understanding from scientific articles and from the students’ personal experiences as well. We show how a good vision makes a successful leader.
Our personal vision
“For me, vision is imagination, creativity. But also have a clear goal and create how to achieve it. It is the ability to see, to perceive, not only what is happening now, but also where I want to go and where I started from. Because, in my opinion, I need to have a clear vision of who I am to know where I want to go. The vision expresses my medium-long term goals and the values that I will carry with me to achieve them.”
– Livia, 20 years, Italy
“I believe a vision is a mental picture of the desired future. It helps to keep us motivated, to work towards a goal, and overcome obstacles. A strong vision can help us to preserve to the end and let even huge barriers seem insignificant. Furthermore, a vision embodies our hopes and ideals. It gives us a sense of purpose and the reason why we are doing what we are doing.”
– Leon, 22 years, Germany
“When I hear the word vision, I think of something innovative and new. For me, it is about taking new paths and trying to achieve a goal that is clearly defined for oneself based on one’s own values. It is strongly connected with the word future. In this way, I think of great opportunities and a great potential for change that is contained in a vision. I would say a vision is something like an evolved dream.”
– Moritz,22 years, Germany
“In our childhood adults always asked questions like «Who do you want to be? », «What are your dreams about the future? » and everyone started dreaming about it and tried to imagine how it would be. We don’t stop thinking about these questions throughout our lifetime. So, my vision is answering the question: who am I and who I want to be? It is my direction in life and my understanding of what is really important for me, discarding all unnecessary.”
– Alina, 25 years, Ukraine
“For me, a vision is a motivating, positively formulated idea with which I indicate the direction in which I want to develop. It should also express where and what I want to stand for in the future. My vision should be connected to the past (based on my experiences, values, skills), be oriented towards the future (how I want to be, what are my overall goals, etc.), and be reflected in today’s reality. It should represent what values I have and what I want to stand for in the future.”
– Anika, 25 years, Germany
“In my opinion, vision is a way of feeling, observing, and understanding our environment and other people. Vision allows us to represent things in our minds, it’s our way of perceiving the world. Inside a company, a vision let us know where to go in the future, create plans, and set goals. I think it is important to share visions in a team.”
– Hortense, 20 years, France
Our Community Vision
“For us vision is creating the future based on clear goals that motivate you by going new paths. To be able to see this path you need hopes and dreams. Our values guide the path and through a leader’s imagination, the vision becomes reality.
VISION is our way of perceiving the world! “
Creating the right vision
“A vision inspires and moves people!”
When it comes to creating a vision for one’s life, many people think it would be a senseless waste of time, but actually, it is not, (Aurelius, date unknown). This chapter shows what it means to have a vision and how to “create” it. Some physiologists write that a convincing life vision is a very effective strategy for achieving the life you dream of or have in mind (Scuderi, 2020). One source suggests that “the concept of a life vision is best viewed as a compass to help you take the best actions and make the right decisions”, (Scuderi, 2020). These should help one to make progress on the path to the best life. Experts and life success poisons agree with the idea that with a clear vision in mind, you can most likely achieve much more than you initially imagined. Through a specially developed vision, each person determines his or her own path in life and is not guided by other people or circumstances.
A clear and well-defined vision does not usually emerge overnight. Through experiences, influences, and circumstances from the past, and the present, a vision needs time and reflection. To create a vision, personal values and ideals are important. In addition, a vision should generate energy and enthusiasm to strengthen the commitment to explore life’s possibilities.
Good ways to develop a vision are for example journals or a creative vision board. In a journal, you can write down all thoughts and feelings but also questions and a vision develops almost by itself.
It is also important to consider the difference between a vision and a goal. A goal is an individual experience or achievement that one is trying to achieve. In contrast, a vision is the overall picture and does not refer to individual achievements. A life vision should define who you want to be, what you want to be known for, and which path you want to take. But in order to establish a connection between a goal and a vision the following helps: A vision can help to define the goals. They set the framework to define a specific goal more precisely. The vision becomes why. The answer to “what is important in life” will not and cannot be perfect. It is primarily about building the first foundation and continuing to build on it. A written answer is not “set in stone”, it can be changed at any time when you reach a point where you review your own life vision, (Aurelius, date unknown).
“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said: “faster horses” (Ford, 1990), that is a very famous quote from Henry Ford. The point is that Henry Ford had a vision beyond the horizon. It was this quote that gave birth to the Ford car. A vision doesn’t always have to be completely obvious; it can also be thought further, just look beyond the horizon, a kind of abstract thinking.
First, you have to find out what is important in life. Here you have to proceed deeply and existentially (Scuderi, 2020). What is the true meaning of life? How should you live your life?
To create your own vision here are a few tips to guide you (Scuderi, 2020):
- Remember to ask why you want certain things.
- Think about what you want, not about what you don’t want.
- Give yourself permission to dream. Be creative.
- Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.
Some questions to start your exploration:
- What really matters to you in life?
- What would you like to have more of in your life?
- What do you want in your career? (besides money)
- What are your secret passions and dreams?
- What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
- What qualities would you like to develop?
- What are your values/ideals?
- What would you most like to accomplish?
Leadership and Vision
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.” – Jack Welch
In general, every company has a vision. Managers/leaders are encouraged to pursue this vision and lead their team in the right direction, but beyond that, they can also develop their own vision in alignment with the corporate vision. Creating a vision as a focus for your company’s efforts is one of the most important things a company can do. The vision of a company is not just words that look and sound beautiful. A vision provides an organization with a direction and a benchmark against which it can monitor success and ultimate achievement. Furthermore, a vision works best when those who are supposed to support it actually do so, (Robinson, 2019).
How does vision help a leader? A vision helps a leader to direct and to maintain focus on what is important and necessary to achieve. The vision, a clear understanding of the purpose, and the ability to lead people are the main things that distinguish a leader from a manager. A true leader has a clear vision of the future and builds on this vision a clear goal of where to come. His vision becomes a burning fire that haunts and energizes all his surroundings, unites his followers. All successful people have a vision. They always see with their inner gaze where they are going and live by this vision of success. Without a vision of the future, it is very difficult to work in the present.
The vision of the future determines the meaning of the existence of any team. It establishes a bond between the leader and his team, creates a sense of unity, and encourages people to create collectively. The important thing is that the vision of the leader should capture more than just him. Leadership vision is always directed at people, it builds a team. It will attract the leader with those people, in whom the leader’s vision will touch a certain string of the soul and unite them.
Each leader has his own vision. For some leaders, this may have a huge, ambitious vision that will attract the right people to the team – active, strong, not afraid of difficulties. For other leaders, the vision may be aimed at comfort and coziness, so, the leaders will be followed by people for whom safety, confidence in the future, stability, and tranquility are important. Therefore, when the leader has a clear vision of the future and is ready to go to the end, team unity is created with him, backed by faith in achieving a great goal.
From the aspects listed in the article, it is clear that a vision helps to lead people and is, therefore, one of the basic skills for a good leader. However, a vision is not only needed in professional life, but also in many different situations in private life. Furthermore, there can be an overarching vision of a company, which should be pursued by the leaders as well. Accordingly, a leadership vision begins in everyday life. It develops from emotions, feelings, behavior, values, and experiences. In professional life, a vision can lead not only you as a leader to success but also your team. If the leader has a clear vision of the future and is willing to go all the way to the end, the unity of the team is created with him or her, based on the belief in achieving a great goal. A vision helps the leader to focus on what is important and necessary to achieve it. A vision is also more profound than a goal. The vision provides the framework to define a goal. In order to pursue this, a clearly formulated vision helps. Questions that should go through your mind when trying to formulate a vision are for example what really counts in life, what are your dreams and what is your passion, what are your values and ideals, and what you want to accomplish the most. A vision should not just be formulated simply. It should also generate energy and enthusiasm to strengthen the commitment to explore the possibilities of life. A leadership vision is an essential tool to focus attention on what is most important, what you want to achieve in your life, and what kind of leader you want to be. All in all, a good vision can lead you, the team, and the company to success.
Aurelius, M. (n.d.). How to create a vision for your life. Accessed on November 4, 2020. Retrieved from: www.corbettbarr.com/how-to-create-a-vision-for-your-life/
Friedmann, S.D. (2008). Define Your Personal Leadership Vision. Accessed on October 29, 2020. Retrieved from: hbr.org/2008/08/title#:~:text=Leadership%20vision%20is%20an%20essential,and%20what%20you%20stand%20
Jaeger, A. (2020). Personal experience
Mangin, H. (2020). Personal experience
Robinson, C. (2019). 5 Steps to Building a Vision and Getting Others on Board. Accessed on November 5, 2020. Retrieved from: http://leadershipconsulting.com/5-steps-to-building-a-vision-and-getting-others-on-board
Ruhrmann, M. (2020). Personal experience
Scuderi, R. (2020). The best way to create a vision for the life you want. Accessed on November 4, 2020. Retrieved from: www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/create-a-vision-for-the-life-you-want.html
Shcherbak, A. (2020). Personal experience
Tichy. N, Charan R., (2020). Speed, Simplicity, Self-Confidence: An Interview with Jack Welch. Accessed on November 4, 2020.Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/1989/09/speed-simplicity-self-confidence-an-interview-with-jack-welch
Wilhelm, L. (2020). Personal experiences
Zoccoli, L.R. (2020). Personal experience
Zoccoli, M. (2020). Section 3 – Human Leadership, immortal leadership? In thee-book The Apple & The Candle. Accessed on November 3, 2020. Retrieved from: