You cannot lead effectively without a clear vision.

The ability to provide answers in a beleaguered world confers authority and legitimacy on the bearer. Hence, we must illuminate our minds with the kind of information that will stretch our thinking beyond what is around our immediate surroundings.

How do you achieve this? By constantly challenging yourself to become better than you currently are and constantly updating your knowledge. There are many leaders today who are mere figure heads simply because they are not building their own capacity to lead. If you cannot provide direction, you are not worthy to lead. You must be able to look at the people around you and say to them, “Folks, this is the way to go!” And it must be evident to the people that it is indeed, the way to go. The illumination we receive in our minds via our brains is what enables us to take such long range view of things.

This is important because we live in a world of finite resources. No one individual has resources for everything, we only have resources for the basic or vital things according to our priorities. Vision, informed by knowledge, helps to reduce the incidence of distraction (waste) by creating a greater propensity for focus (efficiency).

For instance, with a clear understanding of where you are going or of what you want to do, it would be extremely difficult to get yourself entangled with things that are not relevant to your pursuit. If you are man or woman that is easily given to appetite; vision is what will help you exercise restraint when a day comes that bread is your only source of strength. You may be indirectly setting yourself up for manipulation as you could find yourself excessively dependent on external influence and trapped in the loop of short termism.

Where leadership lacks a keen sense of vision, there are possibly ten terrible influences it would have on people. It could make people:

1. Become hopeless;

2. Waste resources;

3. Complain about insufficiency;

4. Live life recklessly;

5. Move around in company of people with no clearly defined future plan;

6. Stand up for nothing only to fall for anything;

7. Take delight in giving excuses for failure;

8. Care less about the impact of their actions on others;

9. Refuse to take responsibility for anything;

10. Sacrifice the future on the altar of the immediate.

We must therefore learn to operate from an elevated point of view so we can demonstrate a perspective unrivalled by others and thus provide direction for them to follow after. This supernatural ability to see the ‘big picture’ and the ‘overall pattern’ helps you to make accurate and beneficial decisions about the future for those over whom you have oversight function.

“How Clear Is Your Vision? — Part 2” is an excerpt from Wale Arowojolu’s upcoming book Leading From The Front.

Wale Arowojolu is passionate about young people. He believes this cohort are the future and should be bolstered with every resource within our means to guide them in attaining their aspirations. Wale is the convener of THE ASPIRE SUMMIT and the presenter of the radio program THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE