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Vision Requires ActionCreating a shared vision is one of the most important roles of a leader. But vision alone is not enough. Vision requires action.

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare. – Japanese proverb

First: Do a “Vision Check” to make sure you really have a shared vision.

Does your vision include all three keys to a compelling vision?

Did you involve others in creating it? Does the vision resonate with their own hopes, and can they see how they can contribute?

Now: Take action!

1.  Start now. Take the first steps and other steps will be come clear.

Vision is about action, not planning. As you take steps, future steps become clear as you move forward. Make plans, but be prepared to adjust them. Use your vision as the guide.

2.  Act consistently with your vision at all times.

People watch what you do more closely than they listen to what you say. Behave consistently with your vision and live your vision in every way, small and great, every minute of the day. Consider your vision when making day-to-day, short term and long-term decisions.

3.  Support your team so they can support the vision.

Find out what’s needed to support those who are working toward the vision. Remove obstacles, provide resources, cheer progress, and remind them of what’s important as events occur so the vision can be the guiding force each day. Make sure policies, processes and procedures are aligned with the vision. Lack of structural integrity will derail even those who are highly committed.

4.  Be relentless AND have compassion.

It takes courage to create a vision and even more courage to act on it. Ruthless commitment is required. But compassion is also required because when you take risks, mistakes will happen, by yourself and others. Rather than asking, “who is to blame?” ask “what can we learn?” Learn from mistakes and keep moving forward.

5.  Focus on your vision when you are thrown off course.

At some point you will be thrown off course. Unforeseen events are bound to occur. Instead of getting discouraged and losing your commitment, reframe the event as a challenge or an opportunity on the road to living your vision.

6.  Reset goals when necessary.

When events beyond your control occur that prevent you from achieving certain goals, be willing to change your goals. Goals are the milestones, the markers that show you are on the path to achieve your vision. If a goal is no longer realistic, set new goals that are aligned with your vision.

7.  Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Find creative ways to communicate and champion your vision on an ongoing basis. Keep your vision alive by considering it with every decision you make and when something unexpected happens.

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