Vision – Part 1: The Upward Component of Vision
People without a vision will be personally frustrated at the lack of purpose, but leaders without a vision are dangerous because others are following them in their aimlessness.
Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus in their book Leaders: Strategies for Taking Charge said it this way, “The absence or ineffectiveness of leadership implies the absence of vision, a dreamless society, and this will result, at best, in the maintenance of the status quo, or at worst, in the disintegration of our society because of lack of purpose and cohesion.”
There are many great leaders in the Bible; one of them is Caleb. The first mention of Caleb is in Numbers 13:6 where we find him in the general list of spies. He is not the leader, but he is one of the leaders. However, he is about to surface as a man of vision and leadership.
Caleb demonstrates some of the desirable qualities of being a leader of vision. I am going to address three of these qualities in this three-part series on Vision.
1. The Upward Component of Vision
2. The Outward Component of Vision
3. The Inward Component of Vision
I know there are a plethora of books written on vision, both secular and Christian, from which we can glean insight. I have benefited from many of these books and I am sure they have influenced my thinking and leadership, but none so deeply as the Bible. I have learned many principles and guidelines from the scriptures about leadership, the greatest being the necessity of being led by God.
As we look at Caleb in Numbers 14, we see a man who wants to move forward and is willing to trust God. He stands up in the midst of people who are fearful and hesitant, and he articulates a clear Vision. I want to call your attention to three aspects of a Biblical leader with Vision.
1. Dissatisfaction with the Current Situation—Numbers 14:6-9
Here is a man, broken over rebellion and apathy, who desires to implement change. Andy Stanley says in his book Visoneering, “Visions are born in the soul of man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be.”
2. Dependency on God—Numbers 14:8-9
Caleb realized that being on God’s agenda was more important than carrying out his own. This dependency determined to whom he listened, his guiding values, and gave him the confidence to speak up and lead.
3. Decision for Obedience—Numbers 14:24; 32:11-12; Joshua 14:8-9
All three of these passages say that Caleb “wholly followed the Lord.” His integrity of life and his message were in sync. People of vision live by design while others live by default.
I would love to hear your thoughts on being a leader of Vision. In the next blog, I will address motivating others with your Vision.