Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vision Lessons from an Arizona Sunrise

During a visit to Phoenix last year, I experienced some daily reminders from God about leaders and vision – all because my room faced east into the beautiful sunrise above the mountains.

Each morning, I was up before the sun rose, so I would open my curtains and begin my day with study and quiet time. Because I was high above the ground, the sun’s rays hit my room before they hit street level. I had the chance to look out over a city still in darkness while I was bathed in brilliant sunlight. Reflecting on this, it occurred that leaders must have vision in a similar way.

A Leader Must See Before Others See – The vision of a leader is such that he must see both the problem and the path to the solution of the problem before anyone else. Then he will be able to articulate the necessary steps to move forward.

A Leader Must See Farther Than Others See – My long distance vision was due to the height of the building I was staying in. A leader must have the ability to see farther than others even while he is in their midst, at the same place they are.

A Leader Must See More Than Others See – From the benefit of elevation, I could see many miles in all directions – much more than if I were on the ground. A leader must have the vision to see more than others in the sense that he will see the steps and processes needed to get from Point A to Point B. The leader sees the journey, not just the destination.

My daily appointment with God’s sunrise over the Valley also made me think about a few other leadership characteristics of vision:

  • Clarity – Above all, the leader’s vision must be clear. There is no room for fuzzy vision in the leader who humbly submits to lead God’s people.

  • Focus – A leader needs to have the ability to zero-in on opportunities at hand – or in the future. Both require focus, but they demand different actions to accomplish that focus.

  • Perspective – Five people can view the same object from different objects and come to totally different conclusions. Which is right? The wise leader will have a vision perspective that will help make the right choice.

  • Color Awareness – The world is not black and white – but it’s not grey, either. Leaders need to understand that God created a full spectrum of color to be utilized in His work.

  • Peripheral – Leader’s can’t have blinders of any type; they need to be able to see what is alongside of them as well as what is in front of them.

Back in the Carolina Piedmont we don't have the same view, but I will always carry with me the vision lessons from the Arizona sunrise.

How’s your vision these days?

When is the last time you had a vision checkup with God?

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