Leaders see more before others do

Author: Rosette Wamambe. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • One thing that is certain is that effective leaders are visionary and this is because where there is no vision, there is often disaster.

I hope that you have began the journey of discovering what your purpose is. This week, we will start on another personal management principle for leadership, which is vision.

One thing that is certain is that effective leaders are visionary and this is because where there is no vision, there is often disaster. In fact, John Maxwell in his book Developing The Leader Within You 2.0 states that “the indispensable quality of leadership is vision”.  Vision is what often sets the direction for where a leader wants to take first themselves and then their team.

My favourite definition of the word vision comes from Jonathan Swift who stated that “vision is seeing what is invisible to others”.  Leaders with vision are able to do what Stephen Covey in his book the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People refers to as the habit of beginning with the end in mind. According to Covey, “We can use our imagination to develop a vision of what we want to become. We then use our conscience to decide what values will guide us as we work towards that vision.” 

Leroy Eims, the author of the book Be the Leader You Were Meant to Be, agrees with Covey and defines a leader as follows: “A leader is one who sees more than others see, who sees farther than others see, and who sees before others do.”

Beginning with the end in mind and seeing more before others requires clarity. Allow me to add that as leaders in the 21st Century we also need to remain focused on the visions we have seen. It is easy for one to get a clear vision but because of the many shinning objects and voices we have today, one is bound to lose focus of their more and before and when they finally reach the finish line, what they have before them is very different from the more and before that they saw.

Allow me to use a personal story to bring this point home. We all recall what happened in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic affected us all in different ways. My friend and business partner, Betty Ogiel gave me a challenge. She said as Maxwell Leadership Coaches we have a lot of information and we needed to find a way to serve the communities we live and operate in using this information. She suggested that I think of how we can have an annual event that will serve women so that they can grow in their leadership.

Being a person of faith, I prayed, and I clearly received a vision to start what is now The Africa Women Leadership Summit. At the time, Betty and I thought this summit would serve women on the African continent. However, when I got on to a call at 2am CAT with one of our mentors who lives in the USA, Dr Gloria Burgess, listened to our vision and then she helped us see more and more before.

In October 2021 when we advertised the first summit five days to the summit, we had only five paid up members. I was discouraged and wanted to postpone the summit, Betty would hear none of that she insisted that we serve the ladies God would bring our way and that year we served more than 20 ladies.

Last year, the number of participants more than doubled. This year by God’s grace, we will again open the doors in September.

As leaders, when we see more before we are given an opportunity to see what is ahead so that we can begin preparations today. That is the reason why we need to always treat today as a masterpiece and make it count.

This week, our first reflection question is to ask whether we have written down the visions that we have seen but they are still invisible to others? As we move towards the manifestation of these visions, it is imperative that we avoid making big declarations and instead make small intentional changes that will lead us to the fruition of our visions.

In view of this, the next reflection question is for us to ponder what steps we will begin to take that will lead us towards the vision we have for ourselves first and then for our followers?

Wamambe is a transformational leadership coach with the Maxwell Certified Leadership Team    [email protected]