The problem with most visionaries is that they see a world that doesn’t exist.
It’s not so much of a problem until they try to explain their vision to the rest of us mere mortals. They can imagine products or services not yet invented. They can envision a way of living different to the way we live now.
Yet they can’t always get it out in a way that anyone can understand.
Simon Sinek, author of the book “Start With Why,” has a great post here on the visionary’s dilemma.
Here’s a quote that pretty much sums it up:
A vision, no matter how brilliant, will only ever see the light of day if others, those less visionary, are able to also see the potential. It is a person’s ability to paint a picture of something that doesn’t exist in words so clear that others can clearly picture it themselves without any confusion or uncertainty that matters most. It is at that point that an idea can inspire people to act. To share the idea and to help bring it to reality.
His formula for explaining the vision in words everyone can understand is pure gold:
- Words that require thinking should be avoided, words like “convergence,” for example. When someone says that in a sentence, I have to furl my brow and really pay attention.
- Explain why it matters, not what you’re doing. Who cares if you’re “developing applications for mobile devices…blah blah blah,” why should I care?
- And most importantly, always, always speak as if you’re describing an image. A picture. A scene.
And finally: And, after all, it is why you have your vision, not how you intend to create it, that inspires.
Leaders in ChurchWorld ought to be visionaries – and many are. Just make sure you are able to speak to that vision, and communicate it to others with clarity.