The framework of visionary leadership proposed by this University of Michigan online course suggests that leaders communicating a vision must include three points:
- Why do we do what we do?
- What does success look like?
- 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