Inspiring a shared vision

Today marks the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of Martin King Luther Jr (MLK). A sombre thought, but a life, and a man worth celebrating.

The evening before he died, MLK said in what was to be his last sermon:

“We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop… And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

MLK is famous for many things. Not the least of which is his “I have a dream” speech – witnessed by 250,000 people, heard by many others and a defining moment in American and world history.

I’ve been thinking a lot about dreams and vision of late. The reality is that the majority of those 250,000 people turned out to hear Martin Luther King Jr. not for him, but for themselves.

He described a vision that captured their hearts and made them feel good about who they were and who they could be.

If you don’t have clarity of vision or you are unable to communicate your vision clearly then it is a constant battle to take, and continue to engage, people on the journey.

We need to be able to articulate vision in such a way that people are gathering and lining up to be involved.

If you have great stories to share, stories of lives changed. Share them, celebrate them.

Vision is about communicating a dream, not a plan. A plan is how you achieve your vision.

And too many people begin with the plan before they communicate and get buy-in on the dream.

Vision is about something that is bigger than ourselves.
Vision is about the world you want to create.

It irks me that multi-national corporations are much better at doing this. When all they are doing is selling cars, shoes or air-conditioners – they articulate a vision of success, soul or courage. This Ad from Nike is a case in point.

Is your vision something that gets people excited and inspires passion?

Is it the vision for your organisation or the world you want to create?

Communicate the world you want to create.

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