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The World Desperately Needs Visionary Leaders

The world doesn't need more charismatic and inspiring leaders. What the world needs are visionary leaders who will dare to chart the course to change.

As I consult with emerging and high-performance leaders around the world, I am often asked what it takes to be successful. While I feel that many things go into creating a successful life, I believe one of the most important factors that contributes to success is to create a compelling vision.

Photo: Jamelle Sanders; Source: Courtesy Photo

I’m consistently amazed as I speak with people from all around the world. I see people with great ambition and strong aspirations. However, they lack a compelling vision for their lives. Personal experience has taught me that our dreams will die without vision. It does not matter how much passion you have or how much potential you possess. Essentially, you must live your life governed by a compelling vision.

What the world needs now is not more charismatic and inspiring leaders. What the world needs are visionary leaders who will dare to chart the course to change.


Pioneers are visionaries.

According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, the ability to visualize and formulate a picture of the future is the starting point for all successful leadership. Personally, I never attempt anything in my life without first having a compelling vision.

Why do I keep saying compelling vision? If you only have a vision that interests you for the moment, then when you find yourself in challenging times you will abandon the vision. You need a compelling vision because it will undergird you in moments of uncertainty, strengthen you in seasons of turbulence, and anchor you in moments of adversity.

You cannot call yourself a pioneer and not be a visionary. Vision is the ability to see that which is not yet born to time. Furthermore, vision is the ability to bring into reality what was first engineered through the faculty of imagination. Your vision will dictate your activities, guard your focus, and define the priorities of your life.


You’re not easily offended by critics.

Research from the University of Michigan suggests that the right dose of constructive criticism can greatly aid in creating high-performing teams. In other words, criticism can build your capacity for success and achievement.

When I started my business, I remember hearing so many critics tell me that I would never make it and that I was too ambitious. Very few people believed that I could have a global footprint and impact lives all around the world. Well, more than a decade later I am still standing, and my work has impacted people across the world.

Visionary leaders understand that you must possess the ability to see a future that nobody else can perceive but you. In other words, in the dark moments when you are tempted to doubt you must dare to believe in your vision and what is possible for your life. Essentially, your future must become so big in you that it silences every trace of doubt and fear. As you enlarge your tomorrow you erase your yesterday.


Challenges are opportunities to grow.

The closer you look the more conclusive evidence you’ll find that a growth mindset is one of the essential factors that contribute to personal and professional success. This is something I have been sharing with leaders for many years.

One thing that troubles me about leadership today is that everyone wants a platform but very few people want to be developed. Why do you want a platform? What are you going to say when you get on the platform? Platforms are not designed to exalt personalities. Platforms are designed to amplify messages.

In this age of opportunistic leadership, what we need is authentic leadership that will return to the foundations of what makes leadership great and enduring. It is impossible to lead people into a tomorrow that you have not first perceived. To perceive a new tomorrow, it will require you to develop yourself so that you have the capacity to become more and to bring more to those that you have been called to serve. You will never move forward until you are first willing to become more than you are right now.


The future cannot be embraced without change.

As someone who consults and advises leaders around the world, I know what it takes to be on the cutting edge of an industry, field, or discipline. Let me tell you – it takes more than charisma or good communication skills.

If you want to be at the forefront of change and pioneer new territories, then understand that it will require transformation. In other words, no organization, government, or nation can grow beyond its leadership. More importantly, no organization, government, or nation can reach its greatest potential without personal responsibility and accountability. The potential of anything will never be reached without evolution. In other words, to be who you were born to be you must become a better version of yourself. Everyone is always talking about the future. However, we do not understand that embracing a different tomorrow will demand more of us today.

As a pioneer, I can tell you that bringing people into the future is never easy. You will encounter criticism, opposition, and insults and you will have to endure being misunderstood. However, on the other side of rejection is radical change. Your ability to mute the noise and marry your vision will empower you to move the world forward. Pioneers understand that there are dimensions to change, and they dare to become the drivers of change and the trailblazers of tomorrow.


Jamelle Sanders is the CEO of Jamelle Sanders International. Jamelle is committed to empowering entrepreneurs and leaders to live up to their true potential and to profit wildly in their businesses. Jamelle is a life strategist, business strategist, author, leading empowerment specialist, and highly respected thought leader. Jamelle has successfully empowered leaders and entrepreneurs around the world to succeed in business and in life.


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