The framework of visionary leadership proposed by this University of Michigan online course suggests that leaders communicating a vision must include three points:

  1. Why do we do what we do?
  2. What does success look like?
  3. How must we act to ensure success?

According to the course materials, leaders need to think carefully about the language used to communicate that vision, by referring to fundamental values; using stories, anecdotes, metaphors, analogies, rhetorical questions and 3-part lists; and/or expressing moral convictions.

In a group situation where a vision has not been communicated, there is an opportunity  for somebody (a leader or non-leader) to fill the gap and propose their own answers to these three questions.

I am curious if this theoretical framework holds up in real life, so I will take note of situations where people are articulating answers to these questions and see what position they hold.

Here’s Steve Jobs answering the three questions (and a bit more):

Almost golden hour – long shadows and golden light