The Power of a Clearly Articulated Vision
(image of MLK in thought reads: If “write it down and make it plain” was a person)
Let’s talk about Vision on this day where we remember and honor the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.
Wait a minute.
Wait just a minute.
My business centers race and class advocacy work so, for obvious reasons, I’m not bouta highlight no whitewashed iterations of MLK’s I Have a Dream speech for the purposes of this post…but I will say that being an effective leader, as MLK clearly was, requires a very well-defined and clearly articulated vision that is easily adopted and implemented by those to whom you communicate it.
If your vision is clear, folks will not only get on board, but they’ll also share the vision and actively get involved in pushing the work forward. Oftentimes, how you communicate your vision and the place from which you are conveying that vision are much less important than the clarity and effectiveness of the message itself. Take for instance, MLK’s poignant Letter from a Birmingham Jail or even his protests of the Vietnam War.
If your vision is unclear, you will find that folks are hesitant – even downright oppositional – to buy into the work you are doing. Early in my entrepreneurial journey, I came across more than a few naysayers, many of whom were unsure about my direction. Because my vision was not clear to them, many of them were hesitant to support the work I was setting out to do. If I’m being honest, I can say that I took it personally at times. Now that I have done this work for some time and grown in my business acumen and experience, I can say that the lack of buy-in may also have been due to a poorly communicated vision.
Your vision should tell of the future you want to see and outline why you are engaged in the work you are doing. It should be evident to others not only in your words but, more importantly, in your deeds.
Every. Single. Time. he spoke, MLK shared his vision and outlined the next steps needed to bring it to fruition.
If your vision is powerful and clearly articulated…it will last for decades after you’ve gone.
Folks will hold tight to it.
They will continue to be encouraged and energized by it.
And they will be inspired to continue in the work that remains to be done.
And don’t let the annual whitewashed MLK messaging fool ya…so much of what MLK spoke of remains to be accomplished.
Now, let me get back to work!
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