"When students described their personal-best projects, they told of times during which they imagined an exciting, highly attractive future for their organization. Leaders are driven by their clear image of possibility and what their organization could become.
Student leaders Inspire a Shared Vision by envisioning the future and enlisting others in a common vision.
“I soon found myself responsible for leading all these people in a controversial program at our school that had never been attempted,” explained Kyle Ozawa. “I needed to inspire my peers with the vision I had. In order for this to work out, every one of the upperclassmen involved in the pro- gram needed to share the same vision. . . . I explained why our help was needed and how we had the ability to really make an impact on their lives. I learned that leaders are not the people who set the goals; they are the ones who help people envision them as their own.”
Leaders gaze across the horizon of time, imagining the attractive opportunities that are in store when they and their constituents arrive at a distant destination.
Leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference. They have a desire to make something better than it is today, change the way things are, and create something that no one else has ever produced. Yet visions seen only by leaders are insufficient to create an organized movement or a significant change in a product, let alone in an organization. A person with no constituents is not a leader, and people will not follow until they accept a vision as their own. Leaders cannot command commitment; they can only inspire it. What may begin as “my” vision emerges as “our” vision.
To enlist people in a vision, leaders must get to know their constituents and learn to speak their language. Other people must believe that leaders understand their needs and have their interests at heart if they are to sign up for journeys into the future. Leaders forge a unity of purpose by showing constituents how the dream is for the common good. Leaders breathe life into visions—through vivid language and an expressive style. Their own enthusiasm and excitement are contagious and spread from the leader to constituents. Their belief in and enthusiasm for the vision are the sparks that ignite the flame of inspiration. Leaders uplift people’s spirits with an ennobling perspective about why they should strive to be better than they are today.
What are you doing in your life right now to communicate you "Inspire a Shared Vision" to your fellow students across the high school campus as mentioned in the passage above? Please provide examples. How are you making Sherman High School better than it was yesterday? What would be / what is your vision for the school?
Source: The Student Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner