Vision…The Vital Component of Leadership – Part 1
Leaders without a vision are not only aimless but can be dangerous because others are following them.
Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus in their book Leader: 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. He is first mentioned in Numbers 13:6 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.
Part 1 – Upward Component
Part 2 – Outward Component
Part 3 – Inward Component
There are a plethora of books written on vision, both secular and theological, from which to glean insights. 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 articulates a clear Vision. I want to call your attention to three aspects of a Biblical leader with Vision.
1. Discontent 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 Visioneering,
Visions are born in the soul of man or woman who is consumed with the tension between what is and what could be.
2. Reliance on God—Numbers 14:8-9
Caleb realized that being on God’s agenda was more important than carrying out his own. This reliance determined who he listened to and his guiding values. It gave him the confidence to speak up and lead!
3. Choice for Obedience—Numbers 14:24; 32:11-12; and Joshua 14:8-9
All three of these passages remind us 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 Vision Part 2, I will address motivating others with your Vision.